The Legalities of Employing freelancers: Tips from Annabel Kaye of Irenicon

Last week we looked at working as a freelancer, and when you might actually be an eployee or a worker rather than a freelance. This week’s advice from Annabel Kaye is for anyone who uses freelance workers.

Buying work or time from other people

If other people help you in your business, the same rules apply to them as apply to you – read last week’s article on freelance status to review the rules.   Remember:

  1.  Just calling someone a “volunteer” does not get you out of the rules applying.  To be a “volunteer”, the person must  have no pay (beyond expenses at cost), no set hours, and they mustn’t be under any obligation to do anything, not even to turn up.
  2. Calling someone an “intern” doesn’t change their legal entitlements to pay or anything else.  Lots of unpaid “interns”  should be paid at least National Minimum Wage, and you can’t agree with a person that minimum wage rules do not apply to your arrangement.
  3. Calling someone “freelance” or “self employed” doesn’t mean you don’t have to deduct tax – talk to your accountant about that.
  4. Calling someone “freelance” or “self employed” doesn’t mean they don’t have any rights.
  5. You can be liable for PAYE if you get the labels wrong – and this can build up to be a large figure quite quickly.  It’s well worth getting this sorted out right at the beginning.

Join Annabel at Irenicon for a free teleseminar to discuss managing freelance workers – register via this link.  For a freelance worker checklist and framework agreement click here.

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy. Tel: 08452 303050 You can follow Annabel on Twitter

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