Learn about workers and their rights

workers

There may come the time when the business you start grows big enough to need extra help. Find out when someone is classed as a ‘worker’ and what employment rights they have.

What is a worker?

A worker is someone who:

  • Has a written or verbal contract or arrangement to do work or carry out services for reward.
  • Is rewarded by money or a benefit in kind.
  • Has a limited right to get someone else to do their work (in other words to subcontract the work).
  • Has to turn up for work, even if they don’t want to.
  • You need to provide work for, for the duration of their contract or arrangement.
  • Isn’t working for you on behalf of their own company, making you their ‘client’.

What employment rights does a worker have?

A worker is entitled to:

  • Get the minimum wage.
  • Protection from unlawful deductions from their wages.
  • The statutory minimum level of paid holiday.
  • The statutory minimum length of rest breaks.
  • Not work more than 48 hours on average a week (they can opt out of this right if they wish).
  • Protection from unlawful discrimination.
  • Protection for reporting wrongdoing in the workplace.
  • Be treated fairly if they work part time.

A worker may also be entitled to:

  • Statutory Maternity Pay.
  • Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay.
  • Statutory Sick Pay.

A worker is not usually entitled to:

  • A minimum notice period.
  • Protection against unfair dismissal.
  • The right to ask for flexible working.
  • Time off for emergencies.
  • Statutory Redundancy Pay.

When is someone who works for you classed as a ‘worker’?

From time to time you may need to hire casual workers to help out in your business. If most of the following statements apply to them, they are considered ‘workers’:

  • They occasionally work for you.
  • You don’t have to offer them work and they’re not obliged to accept it.
  • Their contract uses words like ‘casual’, ‘freelance’ or ‘as needed’.
  • They agreed to your terms either verbally or in writing.
  • They are supervised by a manager or director.
  • They can’t ask someone else to do their work.
  • You deduct tax and National Insurance from their wages.
  • You provide the tools they need to do their work.

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