Employment Status Disputes 

While we tend to talk about ‘employees’ in general terms, it is important to understand your legal status as it determines your rights and obligations. Depending on your working arrangement, you may be: 
an employee, entitled to employment rights such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed (after two years’ service), holiday pay, sick pay and parental leave. 
a worker, with some employment rights, including holiday, rest breaks and the minimum wage, but overall less protection than employees. 
self-employed, with only basic employment rights, such as health and safety protections and the right not to be discriminated against. 

How do I know my employment status? 

Your contract will often state whether you are an employee, worker or self-employed. However, this is not the only factor to consider. The label applied to the relationship may not be legally accurate. The substance of the relationship in practice is more important in determining your status. This is what a tribunal will look at if you make a claim to the employment tribunal in which your status is crucial. 
Each case will depend on its own facts and circumstances but the tribunal might look at: 
the relative bargaining power of the parties when entering the contract 
whether you can choose to work (or not) and when to work 
whether you can send a substitute to do the work 
whether you are in business on your own account 
the level of control your employer has over your work (and how and when it is performed) 
whether you do, or can, work for someone else 
provision of a uniform or equipment by your employer 
who calculates pay 
notice required for time off 
whose responsibility it is to pay tax and National Insurance contributions 

I don't think I'm getting the rights I'm entitled to 

It is important to understand your status so that you know which rights you are entitled to. Some businesses have tried to class staff as workers or self-employed to avoid some of the obligations otherwise imposed by law, and so denied workers and employees their rights. 
If you have been denied certain rights, you may have a legal remedy and in some cases be entitled to compensation. 
Get in touch for advice about whether you might have a claim, and what your options are. 

Get in touch 

Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? Get in touch using the details below or use the form here and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your enquiry. 
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Phone: 0121 817 0520 
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Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
St Mary's House, 68 Harborne Park Road,  
Harborne, Birmingham, B17 0DH 
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Opening hours: 
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM 
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays - Closed 
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