To think that at my workplace we should all be employed not self employed?

(31 Posts)
ALittleTwee Sun 10-Jan-16 21:14:06

I work in a sales environment.

All of the sales staff are self employed (yes, I am registered with HMRC and do my tax returns etc), which has suited me as we can work hours that suit us, ie I do school hours 3 days per week. We are paid commission only.

Our boss has now decided that we are all going to be given fixed hours each week from the beginning of February. So some of the staff, that do mostly 6+ hours per day have been told that they are to do Monday-Friday 9-6. I have been told that I have to do Monday-Friday from 9.30-3, which tbh does not suit me as I don't want to work 5 days per week as I have other things that I need to do on those days off.

I just think it's a bit cheeky, given that we are all self employed, that our boss is trying to act as an employer but avoiding all the responsibility, eg we get no holiday pay, basic pay, sick pay, etc. Plus from the research I've done in the past, it's also illegal for him to dictate our working hours?

confusedandemployed Sun 10-Jan-16 21:15:59

Google Employment Status Indicator. Your boss doesn't get to decide if you're self employed, HMRC do.
I'm on phone so need to be brief but he could end up in hor water if it turns out you're all employees after all...

OldBloodCallsToOldBlood Sun 10-Jan-16 21:17:37

You need to contact HMRC. They are the ones responsible for sorting out false self-employment. You are right in that these changes mean you should be employed. One of the key definitions of self-employment is that you are free to choose what hours you work.

Out of curiousity, has anyone pointed out to your boss that he can't do what he's trying to do without making you all employees? Is it a small company and he hasnt realised?

rosewithoutthorns Sun 10-Jan-16 21:21:49

I also smell a rat here.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Sun 10-Jan-16 21:33:16

I'm not sure on the details but we employ a number of contract staff who are technically self employed - they get a higher hourly rate but none of the perks of being a permanent employee. This is about 10% of the staff and accommodates peaks and troughs in workload. Also some of the antipodeans are only here on two year work visas so they prefer to earn the higher pay! They work our core hours - of course they are free to decline to work these but we are equally free to not give them any.

Doesn't sound overly dissimilar to your arrangement? Is there an obvious (non hmrc) reasom for you not to be permanent? The question is, could they easily replace you if you kicked up a fuss and refused to work certain days? Not at all ideal but the unfortunate flip side of the arrangement.

Saz12 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:19:59

HMRC get to decide, not your boss - HMRC are very hot on employment status due to the National Insurance contributions. Your employer is mental if he is - ahem - "pushing the boundaries" of employment status laws, as the penalties are pretty steep.

Saz12 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:20:33

HMRC get to decide, not your boss - HMRC are very hot on employment status due to the National Insurance contributions. Your employer is mental if he is - ahem - "pushing the boundaries" of employment status laws, as the penalties are pretty steep.

BiscuitMillionaire Sun 10-Jan-16 22:23:20

Also if you only ever work for one company, rather than having several clients, that's an indicator that you're not genuinely self-employed. If you were genuinely self-employed, your client could not stop you working for other people.

BiscuitMillionaire Sun 10-Jan-16 22:26:06

If you really are self-employed, then your client - not boss - offers you some work, and you decide to take it or not take it, depending on how busy you are that month or whatever. There's no way he can dictate your hours. He should be paying you to get the work done to the deadline you've agreed.

Cloppysow Sun 10-Jan-16 23:54:14

Yeah, he's in dodgy territory

scarlets Mon 11-Jan-16 00:24:58

You are an employee. Talk to HMRC.

notquitehuman Mon 11-Jan-16 00:31:13

Dodgy stuff. I'd definitely get HMRC involved. If you've worked exclusively for him for a certain period then he shouldn't get away with not paying holiday, sick etc.

aurynne Mon 11-Jan-16 02:24:42

If you are self-employed, you are your own boss. You decide how many hours you work and set your rates.

It does not sound to me like you are self-employed at all...

FishWithABicycle Mon 11-Jan-16 02:28:34

Yanbu - if you can't decide when/where to work and wouldn't be free to subcontract part or all of he work to a 3rd party of your choice if you wish, you are not self employed.

NaiceVillageOfTheDammed Mon 11-Jan-16 07:18:53

Is your employer drawing up a new contract/terms document or is this arrangement oral only?

Either way, you and your colleagues are employees.

HMRC will be very interested.

You (and colleagues) are being shafted eg in work pension contributions/holiday/sickness etc...

areyoubeingserviced Mon 11-Jan-16 07:24:42

You are NOT self employed.
Your employer can call you self employed; but you are an employee.

wonkylegs Mon 11-Jan-16 07:53:04

I'm not even sure under the original terms you'd be classed as self employed unless you were free to work for other people - it's the single employer status that probably starts the road to classifying you as employed, dictating hours clinches it for me. HMRC would not be impressed with this one.

TamaraLamara Mon 11-Jan-16 08:02:57

If you work in one location for one company/client, using their equipment, for rates set by them and to the exclusion of other clients, you are very definitely not self-employed.

Your boss is either not very clued up, or trying to pull a fast one.

Whoknewitcouldbeso Mon 11-Jan-16 08:05:22

I agree. You are being managed as an employee, yet being classed as self employed. Your boss cannot have it both ways and I suspect is pulling a fast one.

YouBastardSockBalls Mon 11-Jan-16 08:08:09

Yes, dodgy.

Hoppinggreen Mon 11-Jan-16 08:15:48

Even before the changes in hours it sounds like you are all employed - it's a definition from HMRC not a decision by the. Company owner.
Check it out on the HMRC website

ALittleTwee Mon 11-Jan-16 09:11:26

I think my boss/client is fully aware of the law but chooses to ignore it.

It pisses me off that I am getting no hourly rate yet he expects me, and others, to do things like make tea for all the managers, or go to the shop and buy milk, or do photocopying.

The more I think about it the more cross I get; he's trying to have his cake and eat it!

Bohemond Mon 11-Jan-16 09:20:45

I think you are both in the wrong.
You are also in dodgy territory being registered as self employed but only working for one company.

ALittleTwee Mon 11-Jan-16 09:21:37

What am I supposed to do then?

Whoknewitcouldbeso Mon 11-Jan-16 09:24:32

I was in a similar position and I went to the boss and told them I didn't think I fitted the self employment criteria anymore and they had to give me a contract and off the back of it had to employ everyone.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now