self-employment Articles

Benefits of contracting vs permanent employment

Are you looking for a change? Each year, thousands of Brits start contracting to get them out of a slump in their work or home life.

For many full-time employees, contracting is the answer to numerous issues with their work and lifestyle. It lets people use skills and experiences developed as an employee and apply them on their own terms - at a time and place to suit.

To be sure, contracting isn’t for everyone. There’s definitely some downsides that come from trying to make it under your own steam, but we think the benefits outweigh the downsides, especially when you use an umbrella company like Umbrella.co.uk

Hermes newest target in employment status debate

Courier company Hermes is the latest target in a long-running debate around employment status that has previously engulfed Uber and Deliveroo.

HMRC has reportedly stepped up its investigation into Hermes, which classifies it couriers as self-employed even though their working patterns don’t reflect this.

Separately, the GMB trade union has brought an employment rights lawsuit against the company vowing to fight against ‘bogus self-employment’ and the ‘gig economy’. 

marketing | 1 September 2016
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The city centre food delivery company Deliveroo has been told by the government that it must pay its workers the minimum wage unless they are ruled as genuinely self-employed by a court or HMRC.
The warning came after Deliveroo....

taylor review, umbrella, Theresa May, employment rights, contracting, worker's rights, self-employment,

The review was commissioned last year by Theresa May to investigate modern employment practices after reports of some workers earning as little as £2.50 an hour through self-employment, which affords none of the protections than a normal employee receives.

In order to reduce costs in competitive marketplaces many companies have taken on workers but classed them as “self-employed” meaning they save money on national insurance and the worker is put at a disadvantage by missing out on a number of standard employment rights.

The current system of taking an “employer” to a tribunal to prove that they are in fact an employer and should be treating their employees with a more significant duty of care is both costly and time consuming. It is unlikely many workers will want to bite the hand that feeds it so they are trapped in a situation that means longer hours for less pay.

What does self-employed plumber ruling mean?

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a plumber, described by his employer as ‘self-employed’ should receive some of the same basic employment rights as a ‘worker’ for the company.

Brought against Pimlico Plumbers, London’s largest independent plumbing company, it is thought that the case will have implications for other companies that employ lots of self-employed workers.

A similar court battle was won by two Uber drivers last year in a landmark ruling for so-called ‘gig economy’ workers.

But some experts have warned that it is too early to make sweeping generalisations about self-employed contractors in other industries.

HMRC have just issued a new consultation document titled: "False self-employment in construction: taxation of workers". HMRC is requesting all comments on the proposals should reach them by 12 October 2009.