Looking After Your Employment Rights

Looking After Your Employment Rights

The nature of the industry we all work in means that disputes are bound to arise. After all, few of us enjoy the security and benefits you would expect if you had a nine to five office job or a career in the bank. That’s why UCATT membership is essential for everyone in construction and allied trades: because some employers will abuse your rights, and without UCATT behind you, it can be a much harder job to assert your rights and get the pay, conditions and respect that you deserve. This page tells you about just some of the areas of employment rights UCATT can help its members with.

Bogus Self-employment. Know your rights.

Bogus self-employment is a huge problem in our industry. Many workers are registered by contractors as being self-employed when they should not be. This is good for the contractor. They do not have to pay national insurance contributions and can shirk many of the responsibilities they would have to have for their employees. This is not beneficial for the worker.

Having a self-employed status means losing many rights that employed staff are entitled to by law. You have no rights to sick pay. You cannot take paid holiday. Health and safety also tends to deteriorate where workers are not directly employed and training almost definitely goes out the window.

It’s no wonder that bogus self-employment has rocketed in the industry. So how can you tell if self-employment is bogus? Well there are no hard and fast definitions. Over the years, when these matters have gone to court, they have stood back and examined the overall relationship between the company and the worker. They use a number of tests and factors to help them make this decision. Below are some of these to help you work out if you are being denied your rights.

If the answer to most of these question below is “yes”, the chances are you are an employee:

  • Do you have to do the work yourself?
  • Can someone tell you at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it?
  • Do you have to work a set amount of hours?
  • Can someone move you from task to task?
  • Are you paid by the hour, week, or month?
  • Can you get overtime pay or bonus payment?

If however you answer yes to most of the below questions, the chances are that you are self-employed:

  • Can you hire someone to do the work or engage helpers at your own expense?
  • Do you risk any of your own money?
  • Do you provide the main items of equipment you need to do your job, not just the small tools that many employees provide for themselves?
  • Do you agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take?
  • Can you decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services?
  • Do you regularly work for a number of different people?
  • Do you have to correct unsatisfactory work in your own time and at your own expense?

Another good way to determine your real employment status is to use the HM Revenue & Customs Employment Status Indicator at https://esi2calculator.hmrc.gov.uk/esi/app/landing-page.html

If you have any questions over your employment status or feel you have been forced into bogus self-employment, contact you regional office for support, guidance and representation.Or email UCATT with details of your concern at info@ucatt.org.uk

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