Home > Employment Issues > What Rights Do the Self-Employed Have?

What Rights Do the Self-Employed Have?

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 23 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Self-employed Discrimination Health And

Employment legislation applies mainly to employees. The law protects the rights of these workers and prevents employers taking advantage of them.

Self-employed people work for themselves. A self-employed person is therefore not an employee. In general terms, employment legislation does not apply.

A self-employed person may, of course, employ staff and become subject to employment law. This situation does not alter the fact that the law, for the most part, does not cover anyone with self-employed status.

Discrimination

When it comes to discrimination, however, the self-employed have the same rights as other workers. Discrimination may relate to age, gender, marital status, Sexual Orientation, Pregnancy, gender reassignment, Disability, colour, race, nationality, Religion And Ethnic Background.

In reality, the way in which a self-employed person deals with discrimination may be difficult. Unlike an employee, a self-employed person does not have a manager or human resources department to discuss and complain about instances of discrimination.

If a self-employed person believes that discrimination is damaging his or her opportunities for work, one recourse is to contact a Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor.

Health and Safety

The self-employed must assess Workplace Health And Safety Risks to themselves and others. This is a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Self-employed people sometimes work alongside other self-employed workers. If so, everyone has the right to expect that their fellow workers have assessed any health and safety risks.

Similarly, a self-employed person working on a client’s premises has the right to expect that the client has carried out a health and safety risk assessment. This assessment applies as much to self-employed workers as to the client’s employees.

Contracts With Clients

Some self-employed people sign contracts with their clients. These contracts contain details of rights and responsibilities.

These rights and responsibilities may not be part of employment law for the self-employed. The exceptions are references to discrimination and health and safety. A contract is more likely to focus on the specific work a self-employed person performs for a client.

The detail of these contracts differs from industry to industry. A self-employed person should be familiar with this detail. If not, it’s wise to study and fully understand a contract before signing.

Holiday Pay

Self-employed people do not have a right to holiday pay. Sometimes, however, a self-employed person works for a client who classes him or her as an employee. This may occur when an agency gives a self-employed person full-time work. The contract between the agency and the self-employed worker should have relevant pay details.

Encouragement

There are government schemes and incentives encouraging and helping people to become self-employed. No one should confuse this encouragement and help with rights.

The self-employed do not have a right to attend training courses or receive grants. Such help is at the discretion of the agency that administers it.

State Pension

Self-employed people have a right to a state pension. But they can only receive a state pension if they have paid the necessary national insurance contributions.

Responsibility for national insurance lies with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Once the self-employed have registered with HMRC, they receive regular national insurance invoices.

Welfare Benefits

Self-employed people on low incomes have a right to receive tax credits and certain welfare benefits.

Making a claim for tax credits and welfare benefits can be complex. HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can help. Specialist advisers at the Citizens Advice Bureau can also assist.

Illness

Generally speaking, the self-employed cannot receive statutory sick pay when they fall ill. If a self-employed person is sick, he or she may be able to claim employment and support allowance from DWP.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi, I'm self employed and was let go by the boss as they found out that I reported the unsafe working conditions to hse is there anything that can be done ?
jake - 17-May-19 @ 7:00 PM
I’m self employed, I’m currently off work due do an injury but the last guy I worked for owes me 2 days work - £300 but after tax £240, yet after invoicing him he said do it by cash. He’s now not answering my messages or answering my calls.. Any ideas how I could get my money back?
Shields752 - 13-May-19 @ 11:40 PM
I have worked self employed for a local taxi firm for over 15yrs. My taxi went wrong and had no work for the rest of the week. It was confirmed to me that the firm were not going to repair the taxi because it was not worth it. They then confirmed in an email to me that they were not going to replace the car because basically it would not be worth it for someone that doesn’t work full time ?? I work Mon-Fri from around 8-4.45 even longer when leaving abt 650 when I had a school run and sometimes having abt half hour for lunch because they call me. Surely these hours are classed as full time? I feel that I am being penalised for not working Sat/Sun, again, as self employed, they moan because I do t do weekends but again surely that’s my choice? I feel that until they put drivers on PAYE the company have no say when I work and when I don’t? I now have to go into the office on Mon for a chat to discuss car sharing and hours. Is this all fair? Appreciate any urgent response, thank you.
BJ - 11-May-19 @ 6:58 AM
A self employed person works for the same company as I do and the director has told this person that he is not happy with the work progress and training results and hold told him to leave at end of month.The nearer the end date, the self employed person starts persistently begging for his job back, stating he 'does not know what he has done wrong', which is incorrect because he has been told multiple times - which is in front of witnesses, he refuses to accept that he has to leave and begs and begs until the director gives in - so now a president has been set.Is this a form of harassment by the self employed person toward the director?
Rain - 29-Apr-19 @ 1:33 PM
I’m a self employed taxi driver! The owner of the taxi firm I work for has told us if we have any time off due to illness or holidays! We have to pay a third of our radio rent! Is this right by law?? We shud still b entitled to 4 weeks a yr hol!!
Enty - 26-Dec-18 @ 2:30 PM
I work cis been working for a subby for 3/4 months solid, one of the foreman has just threatened me in front of about 10 lads ran over grabbed me and said he’d smash my head in. I just told him to get off didn’t react. He’s tried to go back on his actions but I feel my position is untenable now. Do I have any rights ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also I know I should of lamped him just caught me by surprise plus I don’t want to look the bad guy
Bert - 7-Nov-18 @ 11:22 AM
My partner is self imployed,on Thursday his Forman told him he would be layed off Friday.can they do that with only 24hours notice.
Kaz - 4-Nov-18 @ 12:31 AM
I worked for a utility company doing water fittings, they have told me I have been sacked and they’re holding my wage of £1000 because apparently damaged caused, they’re also holding the lads wage I worked with due to the same thing. Same amount for the lad. What rights do I have to get my wage? It doesn’t cost £2000 to fix the damage which we didn’t do may I add.
Worker - 18-Oct-18 @ 7:27 PM
Hi just need to ask a question if you’re self employed and opening a new business not far from where you originally work can my old boss threaten me to court
teddy - 13-Oct-18 @ 5:47 PM
I'm a self employed taxi driver and my car is off the road due to someone else running in to me and have been told that it's not getting sorted for as good few weeks.... therefore I'm skint and have bills to pay ....can I claim anything?
Gibby - 5-Oct-18 @ 8:48 PM
I'm a self employed taxi driver and my car is off the road due to someone else running in to me and have been told that it's not getting sorted for as good few weeks.... therefore I'm skint and have bills to pay ....can I claim anything???
Gibby - 5-Oct-18 @ 8:28 PM
I’m self employed HGV1 driver and have been working for the same company full time for 15 years. I brought a delivery back to the company undelivered which they said they will be fined £1000 for failed delivery. No one at the company will discuss this mater and they refuse to use my services now 5 weeks ago. Do I have any recourse. Thanks.
Francis - 4-Oct-18 @ 9:36 AM
Is it legal if I'm self employes for my boss no notice just not pick me up to go working not had a text or phone call nothing
17rd - 16-Sep-18 @ 8:14 PM
I have worked for a company in railway for 2 years through an agency so I am self employed and got paid through my limited company. After an incident they dismissed me even though I have the proof that it wasn't my fault. During this period of 2 years I was very appreciated for my work and sometimes I was acting as a supervisor too. After the incident occurred I came back to work for few days then I have been stood down for the investigations which took roughly 2 weeks and last night I have been informed by the manager that I have been dismissed. Is any legal action that I can take against them? Please help
Byga - 13-Sep-18 @ 4:38 PM
I am a taxi driver and certain people on the rank are trying to persecute me for the things they have no evidence off and are also try to find other ways to get me banned because they don't like because I am young and foreign and don't fit in with there crowd. They asking hmrc if I am paying tax which I am and spreading rumours and working together to intimidate me. I'm self employment what do I do as I can't get evidence because it's all word of mouth
Worried - 11-Sep-18 @ 9:27 PM
I am self employed and a company I do work for wants me to attend what they call compulsory training. However, they have told me that self employed staff do not get paid for training. Can they do this?
Lee - 31-Aug-18 @ 10:39 PM
Nathtaniel - Your Question:
I'm self employed courier doing multi drop deliveries last week I had tricky situation after knocking on the door I heard someone saying come in few times maybe 5 so I was thinking is disabled person so I open the door but there was not disabled person so I left the parcel fast and closed the door and now here is the tricky situation the customer complained that I saw her naked(she was covered with something I didn't saw her naked)and now they want money from the company I work for and to be fired and never again working like courier(I'm paying van which I bought last year).So my question is how can I get some help with this situation because I like my job and don't want to lose it but the customer is always right thanks

Our Response:
You would have to seek professional legal advice regarding this matter.
WorkingRights - 6-Aug-18 @ 12:59 PM
I'm self employed courier doing multi drop deliveries last week I had tricky situation after knocking on the door I heard someone saying come in few times maybe 5 so I was thinking is disabled person so I open the door but there was not disabled person so I left the parcel fast and closed the door and now here is the tricky situation the customer complained that I saw her naked(she was covered with something I didn't saw her naked)and now they want money from the company I work for and to be fired and never again working like courier(I'm paying van which i bought last year).So my question is how can i get some help with this situation because i like my job and don't want to lose it but the customer is always right thanks
Nathtaniel - 4-Aug-18 @ 1:13 PM
Davo - Your Question:
I'm self employed, working delivering newspapers, I've just received 2 written warning in 1 day and the second one been made to a final warning. Never had any warnings before, can they do this ???

Our Response:
As a rule, self-employed individuals cannot claim unfair dismissal. Please see the link here.
WorkingRights - 2-Aug-18 @ 10:19 AM
I'm self employed, working delivering newspapers, I've just received 2 written warning in 1 day and the second one been made to a final warning. Never had any warnings before, can they do this ???
Davo - 1-Aug-18 @ 1:55 PM
I'm self employed, my boss ordered me to stay for a delivery with no overtime but I had to go the to an appointment with my son, I've been told to take the rest of the week off, is that allowed? Feels very discrimantive to me
Dan66 - 31-Jul-18 @ 8:11 PM
I have been self employed private hire driver with uber since sep 2015,how ever on Sat 21st July 2018 I was assaulted by a passenger(I called 999 straight away and was issued cad and crime reference numbers). However the same passenger made a complaint against me and an hour after the incident uber suspended my working account putting me out of work without notification. They did not contact me nor sent me any message that what is going on until Mon 23 July 2018 afternoon when the sent me a message that there has been a feedback by a passenger and they have passed my details to the police. I wrote to them many times but they have not responded, I want to their office but they had no clue what is going on as the case is handled by a team which no one knows where is based... As a private hire driver we have AXA insurance(provided by uber) to cover any loss of earnings. But my request to process the claim has not attracted any response. Any advise would be much appreciated.
KK - 26-Jul-18 @ 6:06 PM
I have been self employed all my life in the construction industry am I entitled to holiday pay
Hammy - 4-Jul-18 @ 10:14 AM
I am self employed and been layed off temporary but the won't inform me how long for am I entitled to claim anything off them?
Hanksy - 2-Jul-18 @ 11:24 PM
I recently got injured at work i am self employed,while scaffolding the fitting was of fault and I lost most of the middle of my finger i had a operation im now out of work for 6 weeks I asked them if it was possible to be paid a minimum day rate while off work as they were at fault they said no so now I've had no Choice but get a injury solicitor involved plus a loss of earnings
Dan - 30-Jun-18 @ 7:34 PM
My husband is self employed and has worked for the same company for around 3 years now. He never takes time off. We have had a holiday, in writing booked to which he has taken 10 days off (he usually works 7days a week @ 12 hours per shift) today, day 9 of his holidays he has had a call to come into work tomorrow (day 10- last day off) and they’ve basically said that if he doesn’t cut his holidays short, he will be ‘let go’ and they’ll find someone else. There have now been 3 phone calls now making this statement. Where does he stand? Surely this is against the law somewhere? It’s blackmail in my eyes and it’s so disgesrtening! He’s helped that company out so many times I can’t even count.
Shev - 30-Jun-18 @ 12:06 PM
@Robert Ade - if you are self-employed, there is little you can do.
GU - 29-Jun-18 @ 12:56 PM
John- Your Question:
I worked for a company for 1 year they encouraged me to go self employed now they have got no work for me they still owe me holiday pay from when I was employed am I entitled to it? As 2 days were bank holidays I worked I never had any holiday while I was employed so I have 21 days in total I was full time

Our Response:
If your ex employer has refused to pay you holiday pay owed, then you would have to take the matter to the small claims court if they continue to refuse, please see link here .
WorkingRights - 29-Jun-18 @ 10:58 AM
I worked for a company for 1 year they encouraged me to go self employed now they have got no work for me they still owe me holiday pay from when i was employed am i entitled to it? As 2 days were bank holidays i worked i never had any holiday while i was employed so i have 21 days in total i was full time
John - 28-Jun-18 @ 11:20 AM
I am self employed stylist and looking into starting my own business. Would i be able to take my client base with me to my new salon.
Sam - 27-Jun-18 @ 11:36 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments