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Employment status: ACAS guidance updated; HMRC publishes new online employee status tool

View profile for Ewan Carr
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ACAS, the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service, has launched its updated guidance on employment status in light of the large amount of publicity (most of it negative) surrounding the gig economy in recent months.

The guidance aims to help employers and staff understand the different workplace arrangements that exist today and the legal issues that surround each type of arrangement. The guidance can be found here: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5071.

Employees have the most employment rights, including the right to a written statement of terms of employment, the right to paid the national minimum wage, the right to holiday, maternity and paternity pay and protection against discrimination.  Workers have less rights than employees, although they still have the rights such as the right to be paid the national minimum wage, holiday pay and protection against discrimination.  Those who are self-employed have little in the way of employment rights.  There are all sorts of other classes of employment status dealt with in the guidance, such as agency workers, apprentices and volunteers.

In other news regarding employment status, HMRC have published a new online employee status tool:  https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check-employment-status-for-tax/setup.  The service takes users through a series of questions to answer regarding the relationship between the worker and the company they are engaged by in order to determine whether or not they are employed or self-employed for tax purposes.  Employers beware however; HMRC does not recognise the status of ‘worker’, only ‘employee’ and ‘self-employed’.  As such, employers should be wary about using this tool for determining employment status for the purposes of complying with employment legislation.  If in doubt about employment status, employers should take appropriate legal advice.

If you are a company or a worker requiring more advice on employee status and how it affects you or your business, please do not hesitate to contact a member of Chattertons’ employment team.

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