Where does self-employment end and employment begin?

This is an interesting case.

I thought that it was not possible to employ someone full-time on a self-employed basis.

However, the case of the Pimlico plumber is a sobering one for anyone who might engage a self employed basis.

"The Court of Appeal agreed with a tribunal that said he was entitled to basic workers' rights although he was technically self-employed."

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  • I  had a conversation about this subject with the tax man several years ago, and they told me that a self employed person must be able to prove that he is employed by two or more people and he must show that he has provided all his own equipment and vehicle. He must also be paying his own tax and national insurance.

    • PRO

      correct adrian,

      i have checked this out in past and told all the same. also in addition they are only deamed as self employed if responsible for any loss or profit in work being carried out from being self employed and can nominate any other person to undertake his role at any time etc.

  • Yup, I heard this case today and my first thought was 'hang on, I was told probably 15years ago that I couldn't use self employed labour, if they worked solely for me'.  'We' were part of the construction industry and had to comply.  Always bugged me, especially as I had a mate who was a 'freelance' programmer at the HMRC for many years. 

    Apparently, it is the employers portion of NI that the government miss out on and if they find against the employer, they can claim their out Mr. Pimlico!

  • PRO
    It's a question that has been discussed and even the sharpest of legal brains will come up with a different conclusion to the question asked.
    I myself have in the past employed self employed personnel, although I have grown out of that, at the time my accountant said it was above board and legal.
    It is imperative that who ever you employ as a contractor or as an employee that you cover yourself in all aspects. It might seem a waste of money to join the FSB or have an HR advisor and an accountant, but they know their business just like you know your gardens and lawns.
  • My view is that some employers take on self employed 'staff' to avoid paying NI contribution, holidays, sick leave etc and is a loop hole that need to be plugged. Glad the plumber won his case in my opinion.
  • PRO
    If your self employed you should also be able to choose your own working hours shouldn't you?
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