Contractor law

 

A contractor is someone who is not an employee but rather someone who contracts with a company for a period of time to provide a service. Contractor law encompasses the legal principles that govern their working conditions.

Contractors traditionally earn higher salaries and have more control over the type of work they do compared with employees, but they suffer from not having the same legal protection. For example, a contractor cannot bring a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal if they are sacked.

Many employers require the services of a contractor rather than taking on a full-time employee, usually because they need temporary expertise.

If you'd like advice on your employment status, and whether you're an employee or a contractor, call us on 0800 1777 162.

How to find out if you're a contractor or an employee

Sometimes the line between an employee and a contractor can become blurred, and the courts and employment tribunals use the following tests to determine which category a person falls into.

The starting point is to look at the contract between the parties; while this is not conclusive, it can help provide answers.

Secondly, they look at the degree of control exercised by the employer. The greater the amount of control the employer has over the person concerned the less likely they are to be a contractor.

'Mutuality of obligation'

Mutuality of obligation is a key factor in determining the status of an employee. This means that once the contractual task is completed, if the employer does not have to continue to use the worker, they are more likely to be a contractor.

Finally, if the worker is using their own equipment, and is taking a financial risk then they are more likely to be an independent contractor. An employee tends to use the employer's equipment, and takes no financial risk.

These factors usually determine whether contractor law is applicable to an employee or not.

You can follow these links if you want to find out more about employment law and contracts.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on contractors then Contact Law can put you in touch with a local employment law solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local employment law solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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