Freelancers classed as employees | Law Hound

Freelancers classed as employees

We advise a number of businesses including those offering group activities on the importance of their freelance contracting arrangements. It is very easy, as their businesses grow and the freelancers spend more time following their roles that the thin grey line between employee and contractor becomes blurred.

In the case of Weight Watchers-v-HMRC the importance of contract review was highlighted and in late 2017 the Uber cases cemented this approach. This appeal case hinged on the level of control within the contract constituted, taking into account all the evidence, decided it formed a personal service contract. The interesting point on the Weightwatchers’ case was that, despite the inclusion of a substitution clause in the contract it was concluded in the judgment the rights for the freelancer under this clause were restricted to the point they were unable to make their own decision on substitution.

More recent cases involve medical staff working as locums, consultants on poorly written contracts and the focus is now on, from the HMRC, to review long term and short term freelancer arrangements where it’s clear most of the freelancer’s work is being carried out regularly or solely for one client.


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