Employment Law – Recent changes?
Employment law is regularly changing, especially since 2016, when the UK announced that that they would be leaving the European Union. Employment law is very European influenced and so it can be extremely difficult to know your rights – whether you’re an employer, employee or even a worker.
What is the difference between being a worker and an employee?
- Employee Status:An employee is an individual who has entered into or works under the terms of a contract of employment. The contract can be expressly agreed (in writing or orally) or implied by the nature of the relationship. Employees must be obliged to do the work personally, rather than be able to send a substitute in.
- Workers:A worker has been described as a half-way house between being an employee and self-employed. They have fewer statutory rights but can enjoy some key legal rights. However, a worker will have a similar status to being self-employed.
Why is it important to know the distinction?
If you are unsure whether you are a worker or employed, it is important that you do know. Mainly due to the rights attached to each role.
If you are employed you will enjoy more legal protection, such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed and statutory redundancy pay. If you are a worker, you would not be able to enjoy these rights. However, it is important to note that, unlike those who are self-employed, workers will be able to enjoy protection from discrimination, against unlawful deduction of wages and are entitled to the national minimum wage.
What are the recent changes?
With effect from the 6thApril 2019, all workers (not just employees) will have the right to receive an itemised pay statement. This will include workers who are on zero-hour contracts. Employers are currently required to keep a record of all information if they reasonably believe that they are being paid less than the minimum wage. This new right will allow workers to check their itemised pay statement and contact the HMRC if they believe they are being underpaid.
The aim of this right is to increase transparency between employers and workers, with the result that a higher number of workers will be paid correctly. If you are an employer, you should be instructing your payroll provider to ensure that the necessary changes are in place. If you are an employee or worker, you should check that you are being paid the right amount.
Here at GoodyBurrett, we can help you in employment matters, whether you are an employee, worker or an employer. If you have any employment problems do not hesitate to contact us.