Updated for 2016.

Whatever your employment status, whether you are an employee, worker or freelancer/contractor,  you have rights at work that are protected by law. Below is a comprehensive summary of what you are entitled to plus links to articles that cover each in detail.  See our Guide to Your Employment Status.

Read our Guide to Motivating Staff here!

The main legal rights of an Employee

A new type of employment contract – the Employee Shareholder Contract – came to life on 1st September 2013.  Under this type of contract employees give away some of their employment rights in exchange for receiving shares between £2,000 – £50,000 in their company (and benefiting from tax advantages on these shares). More details here.

Apprentices are also employees but have slightly different rights – see our new Guide to Apprenticeships here.

NB: Often Employers will give benefits/terms to Employees that are more generous than the legal minimum entitlements.

The main legal rights of a Worker

See our new Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations that come into effect on 1st October 2011 – which will give certain ‘agency workers’ rights to equal treatment for  pay, working hours, night work, rest breaks, paid holidays; paid time off for ante-natal appointments; the right to apply for internal vacancies and access internal facilities; and give them limited unfair dismissal rights in relation to the Regulations.

Agency temps also have rights under The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 – see our new Guide here.

Workers and Employees have the following rights

There is also a group of Workers who are Home-Workers (or Piece-Workers) who have more limited rights than other Workers.  These are defined (under the National Minimum Wage Act) has those who contracts with a person, for the purposes of doing work for that person in a place not under the control of that person.  These Home-Workers are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, Rest Breaks and Holiday provisions under the Working Time Directive, Equality legislation and Statutory Maternity Pay.

From 1st October 2013, the National Minimum Wage will also cover Agricultural Workers for the first time – before their pay was covered by the Agricultural Wages Board.  Agricultural Workers have slightly different rights to other workers, and more details are here.

You can read about Workplace Surveillance and Monitoring and your rights, here.

The new rules about employing school leavers now that the Government have changed the law on how long young people are required to stay in education or training are here.

You can read our advice about Social Media/networking and work here.

The main legal rights of the self-employed (freelancers and contractors)

You do not have employment rights as such, as you are seen to your own boss and so can make decisions on fees, holidays etc. You will not therefore be entitled to:

  • Your client company’s sick leave, company maternity pay or company pension provisions
  • The legal right to protection under your clients company’s internal disciplinary and grievance schemes
  • The legal right not be dismissed (always, however, read the contract of service you have agreed as this may contain clauses relating to termination of your agreement and time-periods).

There is, however, legal protection so:

  • You should not be Discriminated against in the work place in most cases, and if you are could make an claim to an Employment Tribunal.  This protection only applies to Freelancers who fall under Part 5 of the Equality Act 2010 – that is those who are described as ‘contract workers’ and are contracted personally to do the work, i.e you cannot claim discrimination against your Employer if  you are contracted for the provision of services and hire someone else, or sub-contract someone else, to do the work – you must do the work yourself personally.  See our 2014 information about Limited Company Contractors and the Equality Act here.
  • You should be paid for the work that you have done. If your Client is going into receivership or administration read this advice on avoiding bad debts.

You may also be entitled to Statutory Maternity Allowance if you are pregnant and have recently left an engagement.

You can read what rights you have if your Client cancels your contract here.

Other information for Freelancers

  • In October 2014, at the Labour Party Conference, Ed Miliband announced ‘equal rights for the self-employed’ if they win the 2015 election – you can read what he said here.
  • Also, on the occasion that you are classed as a ‘Worker’ (for employment Rights) but Self-Employed (for tax purposes), you may be entitled to the ‘Workers’ Rights as above if you perform the work personally. E.g. It is quite common in the Film and TV Industry for freelancers to be classed as ‘Workers’ and receive paid Holiday under the Working Time Directive legislation.
  • Most self-employed individuals will pay class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s) which give you entitlement to the basic State Pension and Statutory Maternity Allowance. Class 2 NIC’s do not give you entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance, Statutory Sick Pay or the additional State Pension.
  • If you are registered as a Limited Company and provide your services on a freelance basis to a client organisation (as a Provider) then you will not receive ‘workers’ rights from this organisation – it is up to you to provide yourself with ‘workers’ rights as you are employed by your own Limited Company.
  • If you are freelance, have you considered becoming a Limited Company? There are many advantages in doing this, both financially and for marketing purposes, but also there are disadvantages with a higher administrative burden. There are organisations that can help you take care of the tax and administration burden. For more information see our piece on how to form a limited company.

What to do if you have a dispute with your Employer about any of the Rights listed above?

  • Try to resolve the problem first by talking to your manager or Personnel/Human Resources department if you have one. Your organisation should have its own Grievance Procedure that if you are an employee you should have access to.
  • Talk to your Trade Union or Employee Representative if you have one.
  • Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offer free and impartial advice on employment matters – www.citizensadvice.org.uk
  • ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) offer free, confidential advice on all employment rights issues. Their helpline is 08457 474747, or their website is http://www.acas.org.uk.
  • If you cannot resolve the matter you may be able to make a claim at an employment tribunal – but this must be within three months of the dispute. The Employment Tribunal Service enquiry line is 08457 959775, or their website is www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk

If you work in the UK Media Industries and have a question about this or any other topic, please e-mail us at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem, then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk  – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.

 Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

// Photo by jkbeitz//

  • Thanks a lot for clarifying these things, like what all people say, ignorance excuses no one.. so we should always be aware of our rights so that we know how to defend ourselves from people who wants to take advantages on us.

  • Guest

    Hi, I have up until three days ago had regular work (35 hours every 6 weeks for five years). I was sent an email from my workplace stating for a number of reasons that I was no longer required. I shall not go into these details just now but they specified that the reasons were because of me (they have since backtracked on this and stated that it is because of the job-role changing) I have always been self-employed but I a m not sure if this is as simple as that they are right and I have no rights. I was scheduled to do another block of work in September and would be eager to hear if you think that they have acted appropriately. 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Charity_Volunteer

        I do not know if you can help.
        As a small charity responsible for the upkeep of a village hall for the benefit of the villagers we, a committee of volunteers –  have used a local person to clean the premises on a weekly basis for a period of two hours and we pay this person gross monthly into their bank account.  We know that this person has a number of part-time jobs as the cleaning of the Hall suffers.  Historically this person had been paid by cash and then by cheque.  Whilst we have had some problems with this person, we have – with the retirement of the volunteer caretaker – decided to amalgamate a number of duties (cleaning, building and ground maintenance, opening the Hall for its users) into the ‘caretaker’ role.  A retired committee member has volunteered to cover all of these duties.
        We do not deduct any paye or NI contributions as we view this person as self employed.
        To be fair we have given the cleaner one month’s notice.  They have now come back to us demanding one month’s pay in lieu of notice and a redundancy payment.
        As a small charity staffed by volunteers we can ill afford to hand over monies that have been raised by hard working volunteers during previous years.
        Charity Volunteer

        • Lesley Furber

          hi, I’ve replied to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Charity_Volunteer

        I do not know if you can help.
        As a small charity responsible for the upkeep of a village hall for the benefit of the villagers we, a committee of volunteers –  have used a local person to clean the premises on a weekly basis for a period of two hours and we pay this person gross monthly into their bank account.  We know that this person has a number of part-time jobs as the cleaning of the Hall suffers.  Historically this person had been paid by cash and then by cheque.  Whilst we have had some problems with this person, we have – with the retirement of the volunteer caretaker – decided to amalgamate a number of duties (cleaning, building and ground maintenance, opening the Hall for its users) into the ‘caretaker’ role.  A retired committee member has volunteered to cover all of these duties.
        We do not deduct any paye or NI contributions as we view this person as self employed.
        To be fair we have given the cleaner one month’s notice.  They have now come back to us demanding one month’s pay in lieu of notice and a redundancy payment.
        As a small charity staffed by volunteers we can ill afford to hand over monies that have been raised by hard working volunteers during previous years.
        Charity Volunteer

      • Charity_Volunteer

        I do not know if you can help.
        As a small charity responsible for the upkeep of a village hall for the benefit of the villagers we, a committee of volunteers –  have used a local person to clean the premises on a weekly basis for a period of two hours and we pay this person gross monthly into their bank account.  We know that this person has a number of part-time jobs as the cleaning of the Hall suffers.  Historically this person had been paid by cash and then by cheque.  Whilst we have had some problems with this person, we have – with the retirement of the volunteer caretaker – decided to amalgamate a number of duties (cleaning, building and ground maintenance, opening the Hall for its users) into the ‘caretaker’ role.  A retired committee member has volunteered to cover all of these duties.
        We do not deduct any paye or NI contributions as we view this person as self employed. To be fair we have given the cleaner one month’s notice.  They have now come back to us demanding one month’s pay in lieu of notice and a redundancy payment.
        As a small charity staffed by volunteers we can ill afford to hand over monies that have been raised by hard working volunteers during previous years.
        Charity Volunteer

  • hi, i was just wondering, i have just been informed that my contract is terminated without notice etc and I am not to return to work on the 12/09/2011. i was in employment as a temporary worker, and a contract that has a lot of work to undertake in the next 1-3 weeks. I have read my “workers terms and condition” and it does state that they can end my “assignment” without prior notice or liability but when i emailed and asked for a reason as to why my contract has been terminated i received a reply basically saying i was the last one in so first one out, they said something about experience and not having enough experience as the other workers, but the job i was in as a build engineer for Fujitsu, there wasnt really any further experience i could have gained, every aspect of the job had been worked on and no further training was required. What i wondered is can they actually do this? There is further background to this, and I am more than happy to discuss further if you wish, i jsut really need some advice. thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Steve, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Lesley Furber

      sorry Steve, I don’t seem to have your e-mail address – can you e-mail me first on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

    • Lesley Furber

      sorry Steve, I don’t seem to have your e-mail address – can you e-mail me first on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • Bigbell

    can you tell me how many hours i can do in the one shift doing security is it 16 hrs or 16 and a half and when does it become ilegal to do more hours than you should thank you

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Bigbell, there isn’t actually a limit of the time for any shift, as long as there is a 11 hour rest-break in each 24 hour period – it’s going to depend what time you start the next shift.  If you work in security though, its’ likely your Employer is going to have an exemption that means you if you do not get a full 11 hour break, then you need to get ‘compensatory’ rest for the part of the break you did not get.  I’m going to need more information from you about your shift patterns etcto answer this completely – if you want to e-mail I’m at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • bumble

    My employer informed me last week that I had been charging the wrong rate for work I’d been doing – there is an inhouse trade union agreement that freelancers rate is 1.25T. I had been under charging for quite some time. I was behind a couple of months with my invoicing and included the new rate provided by my employer for work done a couple of months ago. He has emailed me to say I need to change my invoices to the old incorrect rate and the correct rate only applies from the date he told me about (even though there has been an union agreement in place for quite some time!). Can he do this?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Bumble, bit of a difficult one this.  It’s sometimes unusual to have a trade union agreement for freelancers.  Do you have a contract for your work with the rate on it and can you get access to a copy of the agreement to see what it says, whether the rate is ‘recommended’ or has to be given – as that answer will determine if there is anything you can do about it.  If you want to e-mail me I’m at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • no name

    Seems to me like the scales are still weighted in the employer advantage.

  • Rory


    I was just wondering as a freelancer working from home are you entitled to holiday pay.

    I have been working full time for about a month, doing the same job as a friend working in the office, however he gets holiday pay (10.77 x units worked) whereas I don’t.

    Any help in the mater would be greatly appreciated.



  • ass person


    • aitch

      I think this website is trying to help people with genuine problems at work – I know it’s helped me in the past.  There are so many rules and regulations it easy to come unstuck, why spoil it? Aitch

  • Help

    I wonder if you can help.
    I have been working for a company and it has recently been taken over (26th January) when it was due for are money to be paid to us for what we had workedfot the month of january we did not get paid. We then got told it would be UP to 2 weeks for them to process all are new details to there bank account. We was promised some money to tired as over which they did provide to some employees. It has notw been over to weeks and still havent been paid my money and now have worked two weeks into february. What can i do?

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, all you can really do at the moment is ask – you do have an option to take them to an Employment Tribunal for non-payment of wages and if you wanted to do that you could go to your local citizens Advice Bureau for advice or ring ACAS for their advice on how to proceed with this.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Spursliz

    Hi Lesley,

    Can you help me please? I started a new job as a private PA on 19th January. I am self-employed and was to be paid a set sum per hour this work – no contract or anything. The job was for 4 hours a week minimum with extra hours cataloging antiques and books. I was to work in a very smart flat in the best address in London and have my own pc and Blackberry. The reality was that I ended up working in an attic room which was often freezing cold sharing a grotty bathroom with the cleaner and 2 boys. In one month, I did 3 hours work as a PA and around 20 hours sorting out the books. I resigned this week and now my employer has said that, as I resigned in February, she will not pay me for any work done in this month. It comes to around £550. What can I do? Thanks, Liz

  • stephen

    Hi i am contracted to a 40 hour week. last year during the summer my boss cut me down to a 32 hour week because buisness was slack so I used some of my holidays to make up my pay.  My boss informed me on monday that this year he might cut me back to a 24 hour week. I have a fiance and 2 kids under 5 and I really need the money. Do i have the right to challange this? I dont want to fall out with my boss either.. I know buisness is slack but im only working for my boss for the money,and I will feel let down if this does happen.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Stephen, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • stephen

    Hi i am contracted to a 40 hour week. last year during the summer my boss cut me down to a 32 hour week because buisness was slack so I used some of my holidays to make up my pay. My boss informed me on monday that this year he might cut me back to a 24 hour week. I have a fiance and 2 kids under 5 and I really need the money. Do i have the right to challange this? I dont want to fall out with my boss either.. I know buisness is slack but im only working for my boss for the money,and I will feel let down if this does happen.

  • CP


    As a contractor I have an agreement to work core hours of 5 hours per day. This invariaby turns out to be 7 hours per day but I only get paid for 5. On top of this I do not get holiday or sickness pay. My main query for now is that they want to carry out a performance appraisal. Do I have to attend if I am only freelancing?

    • Lesley Furber

       hi CP, if you are a genuine freelancer then you would not necessarily expect to have an appraisal, as this would be an indicator that you are a member of their staff and not freelance.  I think you need to discuss this with them.  If you have any queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Joelma

    hi it is possible to make cover for someone for 9 months? 

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Joelma, I’m afraid I don’t understand your question – are you talking about covering someone who is off work?  Such contracts can be for any period of time.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kazababy12

    do you have an email address i can contact you on ?

  • Paul Wade

    I have worked for the same construction firm for approx 6 years with a 6 month break due to redundancy 3 years ago. i am employed by the company. In this time i have had 2 wage cuts due to the lack of building work, so have all the other builders but the majority are self employed. The first was 12% a few years ago and the most recent one, being today is 10%. I have not had anything in writing just verbally. Also as from tomorrow i am having my company car taken off me due to cuts so now have to find my own transport. I have not had any grievances at work, this is just due to cut backs. Can my employers keep cutting back my wages like this or do they have to follow a particular procedure?
    Thank you for your time.

  • Cortez2inco

    hi, i been working in Nd since ocober 2011 there is a lack of housing with the oil boom  the “company” knew i had a travel trailer  and asked if i was willing to bring it up.I would be paid 35$ a day on top of my 50$ per diem, the “company”  was willing to pay a lot fee and they agreed to transport my trailer to ND from CO. In mid may 2012 on my leave home i was offered a foreman position in CO, i was told during winter i was going back to ND i agreed but i made it clear  all my work equipment was in Nd including my trailer.I would tell the superattendent wkly about my items i had and when was a good time for me to get them.July 26 2012 i was told the company wanted me to go back to ND and work. The company hired aliens and they got deported so i agreed to help. on july 27 i was informed the company broke my lock to my trailer moved it to another location and is having a employee live inside im not sure when they did this since they never told me, I called  the owner and superattendent left over 5 voicemails and text wihout any responce. finally the GC in denve talked to the owner his responce was “damn rite i will do what i want i pay the lot fee”  if he “me” is not here on tuesday im fired!!!! I drove to ND on monday to get my trailer i found where the company had taken it. its trashed!! broken dishes, somebody tried to force open a window now wont shut properly the floors are filthy im so angry!!! i didnt move my trailer im back in CO this company needs to pay for being so arrogant, i need help!!!!  cortez2inco@gmail 

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m afraid I can’t help you as I presume that you are not based in the UK – we can only offer advice about employment law in the United Kingdom.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • guest

    I am an employer. 2 months ago I promoted a member of staff to Assistant Manager. He has not ben able to do the job. Staff have been upset and refuse to continue working with him. Most recently he walked out during a shift and refused to complete it. I do not want him working for me, losing me staff and ruining my business. Can I dismiss him and if so how do I do this? He has been employed in total for a little under a year.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Guest, thanks for your message, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workine

  • Jonathan

    Hello i am currently in the awkward position of  being in a job were i am not getting regular work i got this job through a place that is supposed to get you back to work after being referred to them by the job center. When i agreed to take the position i was told they had a regular 3 years worth of work and i have had to sign on within 3 months. They will possibly be offering me work 1 week but not the next and changing my circumstances all the time is making me behind on rent and not really having an income for 3 weeks at a time while supporting a child and partner. Its getting me in a very hard financial position were i could lose my home is there any advice/help i can get would be much appreciated thanks. 

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Jonathan, thanks for your message.  I’m not clear exactly what you are doing and if you are actually employed by anyone or working through an agency?  It’s going to depend on what your contract says about the hours of work you are employed to do each week (or it may not say this, depending on how you are employed).  Without more information from you on how you are employed, what your contract says (if you have one) about how you are employed/what hours you are employed for  I’m afraid it’s difficult to help you more – you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dorey


    Im currently on a fixed term contract at work and the contract is always extended at the end date but not yet permanent. Direct gov say you can be on a FTC for max 4 years. I am married and we would like to start having children however I am concerned about my contract ending if I get pregnant. Its unfair dismissal to end my contract if I am pregnant however, I am concerned.

    Could you advise??


  • karan

    hi im working for argos and im having problems with 1 of my managers. she keeps treating my diffrently from the other workers can i put a discrimination complaint against her /

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi yes quite possibly (obviously I don’t know the details). You would need to lodge a grievance – your company will have a grievance policy/procedure so you need to find this and understand what you need to do. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • karan

        thanx x

  • guest

    I was moved off my job and swapped with someone else. I recently found out that the person who replaced me was given a rise. Apparently he was given supervisor title, though isn’t actually one if you know what i mean!!! Is this allowed. Replacing someone and giving other person a rise?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      hi Guest, it’s going to depend how you are employed (are you employed directly or through an agency) and what sort of contract you have (permanent, temporary, zero hours contract etc) and what the contract says about the job you are employed to do. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • guest

        employed permanent and directly

        • Lesley Furber, Workline

          ok so you need to look at your contract and see what it says about your job title and responsibilities and whether these can be changed – you need to look at the wording to see how it describes what you do and if this can be changed. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • guest

            just says warehouseperson, been there 10 years.

          • guest

            Looked through contract doesn’t say about responsibilities or being changed

  • Andrew

    If an employer ask you not to come in until a later time (10AM instead of 6AM) due to machinery breakdown but the evening shift comes in as usual, does the employer obligated to pay you the missing hours ? Also, if they send you home (because of same problem and lack of work), do they have to pay you

  • sam

    Im contracted to work a 48 hour week at including weekends and evenings. I have done this for the past 10 months but am now burnt out and in a position where i am forced to resign with no job to go to. My employer is unwilling to change my working hours so that i work less weekends (on whole shift every weekend) or evenings (minimum of 3 evenings per week and up to 5) When I started the job i didnt realise how much it would impact on time with my family. Ive also had to recently sign a letter waiving my rights to a legal rest time in between shifts. My employer has agreed to give me a letter sacking me so that i can sign on and claim benefits as i have 2 young children and am a single parent. They have asked that i write them a letter stating that I will not take any proceedings against the company if they supply me with this letter. Im really stressed at the thought of having no income but im tired of fighting them and getting no where, any advise please?


    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Samantha, apart from the letter you describe asking you to waive your rights to a rest break between shifts, which I would need to see to understand what they mean by this, it’s not clear your employer has done anything wrong legally. They do not have to agree to your request to reduce your working hours, even if you requested this under flexible working legislation (and they had good business reasons to turn your request down). I would think it is unusual that they have asked you to write them a letter saying you will not take proceedings against the company as that may not be sufficient to stand up in court. In certain circumstances like this where a company does not want an employee to have the ability to take proceedings against them it is normal for a ‘compromise agreement’ to be signed by both parties that has been seen and advised on by an independant legal advisor. If you want to e-mail me with further information then do, I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • craig

    hi just woundouring im being layd off a lot lately and yesterday i was layd off and told ide be having a phone call the day after to see if i had work ther or not,so i had the phone call saying ther was work the following day so ide ave to go in 7.30 till 1.30 and my normall hours are 7.30 till 4.30 so come 10.00 that morning i was told i had to work a full day now instead of finishing 1.30 am i within my right to turn round and say i cant ive made other arrangements and should you be givin 24 hours notice wat ther doing?thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Craig, thanks for your message. You don’t say how you are employed (if you are an employee) or whether you work on a casual basis or work through an agency so it’s difficult to determine what rights you have. You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • matthew

    after working for my employer for over two years he has now decided that my collegue cannot pick me up in the mornings and i have to make my way to his house every morning and back home again at night .as i do not drive this will cause me to be in serious finacial hardship and lose half my wage each week. has anyone got any advice?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Matthew, thanks for your message. I’m not clear, was this in a company van or private transport? Or why your colleague cannot pick you up anymore and was told by your Employer not to? And was this to your ‘normal’ place of work, rather than a place of work that keeps changing. If this was not a contractual right given to you when you joined, and the travel doesn’t actually form part of your job but is just a ‘commute’ to work then I cannot see that you can hold your Employer liable for anything here. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lauren johnston

    My mums employer will only provide her with one uniform as she is a relief member of staff, however all other staff on same contract have two, she is often working 4-5 shifts in a row and has no time to clean my uniform. she has been turning shifts down and losing money as her uniform is not clean. finally she works relief in a swimming pool, were she may need to enter the water in her uniform and even if she does not the environment is very hot, is this legal. in the uk

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lauren, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to help you with this as there is nothing in employment law that I am aware of about the supply of uniforms. Can she speak to her Employer about the fact that she is having to turn shifts down as she is unable to clean her uniform in between shifts and see if they will provide her with another one. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • brownbelle_21@yahoo.com


    I have taken a company where i worked to the tribunal. I basically got the contract via an agency, but the agency could only agree for me to work the contract through a limited company and as at the time I did not have a limited company, I joined an umbrella company in order to work the contract and get paid. I was treated badly and was dismissed by the company I worked for after a very short period of time. In accordance to the equality act, my argument is that the principal i.e. the company have discriminated against me in the way i was treated and subsequently dismissed. However the Company’s solicitor is arguing that I have no employment rights. What is my employment status and my argument?


    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Alex, have you looked at all the ‘tests’ above. It’s quite obvious the Company’s solicitor would argue this, but the Tribunal is the only place where the decision can be made to what your actual ‘status’ is. Freelancers are only covered by the Equality Act if they are described as ‘contract workers’ and are
      contracted personally to do the work, i.e you cannot
      claim discrimination against your Employer if you are contracted for
      the provision of services and hire someone else, or sub-contract someone
      else, to do the work – you must do the work yourself personally. Good luck. If you have any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Alexandra

        Hi Lesley,
        Thanks for your response. Which tests above are you referring to? I did the work myself, but they don’t think I’m a contract worker. The tribunal have ordered the solicitor to provide a skeleton argument and the pre-hearing review has been set for the end of February.
        Thanks Alex


    Hi, as a self-employed contracted person iam not covered under employment law, but i have just been dismissed for whistle blowing, do i have any rights ????

  • Joanne

    i work a 32 hour week with a signed contract, can my employer force me to change my contract to 40 hours a week ?

  • Can an employer change your payday, if paid fortnightly they pay you after three weeks, and if so should they give you written notice, if you suffer financially are they responsible for your losses.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Seamus, if this is a term of your contract then they should write to you about this as effectively they are changing your terms and conditions. But, no, I can’t see they would be responsible for any losses. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Hi
    I m having my four months baby and I m doing a full time job. I want to go back to my country but I don’t have any annual leave and my baby can’t fly without me with my partner. And my manager is not giving me a leave so what I have to do.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Poonam, your Employer does not have to agree to your leave requests. Have you asked them if they would consider giving you a period of unpaid leave? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mark

    My employer is changing his company to a Ltd Company.We are being given P45s from old company and starting work for new company (same name but with Ltd at the end).
    How do I find out my rights? and would this affect any future redundancy payments?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mark, your continuous service with your Employer should be preserved by this change – your Employer should issue you with new contracts of employment though that would confirm this. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Mark


        I have worked for this company for 17 1/2 years. It is a small company (run by 2 brothers and currently employs 9 people) and we don’t have contracts.

        Does this make a difference?

        It is made out to be a family business with “social responsibilities” but when it comes down to it we all know business is business!


        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Mark, you should have a contract by law, but if you haven’t, because you’ve been there so long if won’t make any difference as you can demonstrate you’ve been there so long. If you have any -emails or paperwork that confirms any changes like this then I would keep them as that will help if there are any problems later on. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Vanessa Ennis

    My daughter is currently working in London. She is still in her probation period of 3 months. How much notice is she required to give her employer ? She signed a contract, but never received a copy, and is paid monthly ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Vanessa thanks for your message. Your daughter is required to give her employer a minimum of 1 week’s notice if she has one or more month’s service (unless her contract requires more?). She needs to ask for a copy of her contract to check this I think (although it is usual to have a 1 week notice period during probationary periods on both sides). Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • One month

  • Hi

    I am a self employed driver/courier and have been “working” for the same company for 3 years, but today the manager has said if i was to take a day off sick or due to vehicle problems they would withhold £50 per day as they would need to pay someone to cover me.

    Is this legal

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Neil, if you’re on a genuine freelance contract then you would not expect to be paid for days you did not work. Is that what they mean? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Hi
    I currently work from 2 am untill 10.30am with no written or verbal cotract in place. I am allowed 4 weeks paid holiday per year, and work all bank holidays,with no extra pay or a day “in lieu” There are 12 employees,all without contracts, of which none of us have been offered any sort of pension scheme.
    My employer has now told me,without warning,that I am now to work from 10.30 pm untill 6.30 am (nights), but will be on the premises alone untill 2 am, and he has TOLD me that my wages will be REDUCED by £100 per week !!
    What,if any,are my rights?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Peter, well basically you have a right to 28 days holiday per year (if you are full-time which I presume you are) – which can include bank holiday entitlement – and you should have a written contract if you are an employee. If your Employer employs over 5 people then he must offer you access to a pension scheme (all he does not have to contribute to that at the moment – but this will change soon, depending on how large your Employer is). If they are changing your hours of work and pay, then they are changing your terms and conditions and must do this in consultation with you – you can read more about that here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Let me know if you have any questions of course. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John Waters

    We sale SSD Chemical Solution used to clean all type of blackened, tainted and defaced bank notes. Our technicians are highly qualified and are always ready to handle the cleaning perfectly. Our Chemical is 100% pure. We clean all currencies like the Euro, USD, GBP and many other currencies. Please do contact us for more information so that we can better serve you.

  • John Waters

    We sale SSD Chemical Solution used to clean all type of blackened, tainted and defaced bank notes. Our technicians are highly qualified and are always ready to handle the cleaning perfectly. Our Chemical is 100% pure. We clean all currencies like the Euro, USD, GBP and many other currencies. Please do contact us for more information so that we can better serve you.

    Contact US:
    Name; John Waters
    E-mail; dipjohnwaters@hotmail.com
    Phone number; +917838101957

  • Hi I keep reading about this 12 week probation period when working with an agency. Can someone tell me where I stand after I explain where I am at.
    Im a construction labourer, and Im with a agency who got me work with a construction company. Ive been working for the same construction company on the same job for 12 months now. Is this right? Should I have been taken on?
    The agency pays me minimum wage, with holiday pay included in the wage supoosedly.
    That job has finished now, and they have told me to take a week off, before I go to there next new job. My contract manager has tried to get management to take me on full time, but they are not interested. Hes had to fight just to keep me for the last 12 months.

  • George Hardill

    Hi, My wife travels abroad on business for her company, this usually amounts to a week or two at most. She has now been asked to work in Holland for 7 weeks. Is there a limit on how much time an employee can be asked to spend abroad?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi George, not that I am aware of. Is there anything in her contract or company handbook about this? Regards, Lesley, Worklin

  • George Hardill

    Hi Lesley, Thanks for your input; we located a copy of the contract which states ” an employee will not be required to spend more than 1 month abroad in any calendar year without prior consent ” so I guess it’s up to her if she wants to be considered a team player or not. Thanks again, George

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi George, yes that’s basically it I’m afraid! Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Israt Jahan

    Hi, I worked in Liverpool’s Burger King for 2 and half years. I am an international student and I applied for visa extension. Now Burger King is not letting me work without seeing valid visa and also not giving me my due pay because of my validation of the visa. Before this I was asked by my restaurant manager to give him documents which apporve that my visa is under process and I gave him every documents he asked for. But he has been given me false hope till now that I would get back to work or get my money. Now he has changed his mind and refused to pay me until I get the visa. But my visa is at UKBA and it depends on them when they will give visa. I dont know what to do. Could you please help?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Israt, thanks for your message. I’m afraid that an Employer cannot employ you legally without proof that you have the right to work in the UK so they are correct to wait for your valid visa. I don’t know if UKBA issue notices to Employers (etc) if something is being processed or not, it would be better if you spoke to the UKBA yourself to find this out. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Maureen Leighfield-Smith

    My husband has been off sick due to a dislocated coccyx and on his doctor’s advice has been told to phase back to work. He has telephoned his employer and was told that it is all or nothing because of the nature of his employers business. as he needs to be able to sit for long periods which my husband is unable to do at present as his injury means he needs to move about. Can his employer expect this or as he can’t accommodate my husbands request will his employer have to pay him and if so what ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Maureen, Employers are not bound by a GP’s advice on a phased or complete return to work – they should do all they can to help but if it’s not possible then then they do not need to follow the GP’s advice. Whether the Employer continues to pay him sick pay will depend on their own sick pay policy. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Akila Iqbal


    I was offered a job with this huge company and was given a start date of 10th June…they sent me a written document stating my salary, my role and responsibilities etc… they then delayed my start date to be 17th June and then 24th June. As I was constantly trying to get the bottom of this they would not giving me a real reason as to why it has taken so long.

    I recently got a call from the manager who is dealing with me and he said that he gave the job to someone else internally so therefore the job is no longer available for me. He had recommended me to go on another team but I still had to go through the interview process? I would like to know that due to the circumstances would it be fair for me to tell them that in order for me to avoid matters going to the Tribunal Services that I do not want to work my 3 month probation. I know that the 3 months probation period is down to my own performances but there is no guarantee they will use that against me? I have emailed and left voicemail and called the manager and he seems to be ignoring the fact I am owed a job.

    Someone help please?


    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Akila, thanks for your message. When you say you do not want to work the 3 month probation do you mean in the new job if you get it? I think that would probably not be a wise thing to do as it may taint your relationship with the new company. When you say about avoiding matters going to the Tribunal do you mean for breach of contract as your job has never started and you have not been given notice that you job has ‘ended’ (i.e never started), as that is really the only thing you could complain about (as far as I am aware of your circumstances). Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Akila Iqbal


        I seeked further advice and the probation period should not even be an issue. At the end of the day that goes down to my performance and when I know I am competent and good enough to the job I have nothing to be concerned about. If hypothetically speaking I was told to leave by the end of my 3 months probation and I believed that it was unfair dismissal, this becomes a new case…

        In regards to leaving my other job, I was told verbally to leave my other job to start my new job. If they knew this was going to happen they should have physically said We no longer require you to work in this business, so our advise is to NOT leave your current job. Why would I risk leaving my other job knowing they gave me a leg to stand on? Saying I had a job. Every conversation I had with the manager he never gave me a real reason until now… It has now been 2 months from when I was offered a job. I have a written statement to confirm I have been offered a job by them. I have been in touch with them recently and the reason that was given to me was they employed someone internally and I said well why did you employ someone externally if that was your process? he said “to see what the market was like”. Thing is you do not do a market research and based on that employ someone… I am eligible for a contract the day I actually start working for the company within two months of the actual start date. Therefore I do not need a contract as i have a written confirmation to say I have been offered a job. I hope this is more clearer.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Akila, I’m not sure what your question is now? Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • Claire

    Ive been working for 2 and half years as a receptionist/admin assistant. I work 30 hours a week, though I also cover for other admin staff so often work extra hours. Approximately 4 months ago myself & the other 2 admin staff were informed we would now have to clean the premises, empty bins, cleaning the toilet etc because they were getting rid of the cleaner. I have never been given a contract of employment but when I applied for the job it certainly did not mention any form of cleaning. What are my rights

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Claire, thanks for your message. Basically they are changing your terms and conditions, which they can do, but they must do this in the right way – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/

      If you have not ‘protested’ at this change during the 4 months, then it may be too late to start doing this now – the article above explains why.

      Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Claire

        Thanks for replying. Its such a small company that I know theres nothing much I can do, not without them edging me out slowly such as cutting my hours ect. My other problem is the cleanliness provided. It is opticians but there is only hot water in one of the testing room, so if this is in use which it is almost constantly we all have to wash our hands ini cold water. To add to this we have now been told we cannot use paper towels but must instead use one handtowel that is only changed once a week despite 8 members of staff plus numerous members of the public using it on a daily basis.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Claire, it doesn’t sound like they are taking their Health and Safety obligations seriously at all! I would take your own handtowel to work, if nothing else! Good luck here. Lesley, Workline

          • Claire

            Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I agree with you the health & safety rules dont seem to apply to them. I could list dozens of things that should be enough to close them down but Id be the loser then. Ive decided to buy my own paper towels & despite being on a low wage Im quite happy to share with whoever wishes to.

          • lesleyfurber

            I’m quite surprised Claire about their lack of health and safety actions being an Optician! Understand you’re in a difficult position. Perhaps if you provide your own paper towels it might ‘shame’ them into re-thinking the towel situation at least! Take care, Lesley

  • andrew bowser

    I have worked at a Car/Van Rental firm for approx. 1 1/2 years on the Rental Desk about 3 months ago after a visit to the Doctors I was advised not to drive (by the Doctors) due to a suspicion I might be suffering from sleep apnoea, I have just returned to work(Today) after being on 2 weeks sick due to high blood pressure and have verbally being informed I am suspended due to not being able to drive, suspension details were very vague I said why is this now a problem when for 3 months it wasn’t, only answer I got was it is part of your contract to drive so because of this you are suspended awaiting a meeting in a weeks time, to me this seems a bit unfair when I mainly carry out my job at a desk and it hasn’t been an issue before, I have an appointment at the sleep clinic on 4th November, your opinion would be much appreciated.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Andrew, thanks for your message. Does your employment contract actually say that is a condition of your employment that you must be able to drive? A suspension does seem harsh when you could work on the desk. I assume this means they are investigating whether they are going to discipline you. With regards to sickness or disability or in you’re case possibly that you are unable to carry out or your contractual duties for health reasons, to deal with this fairly your employer needs to make sure that the job is
      suitable for you and look at jobs it is possible for you to do (work on the desk for example). They need to deal with this fairly otherwise you may have an unfair dismissal claim if you are sacked. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • andrew bowser

        Hello Lesley, Thanks for the reply as far as I know I have no contract, have never signed one or being given one so unsure of where I stand also I have not being driving for nearly 3 months and there have been no problems with my work or performance nothing has been said about this until now I am also due to see the medical team about my possible problem on 4th November so cant really understand the action taken due to a possible answer from the medical people in less than 2 weeks, your thoughts on this would be appreciated. Regards Andrew Bowser

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Andrew, it’s obviously difficult for me to know what to say as I don’t know what is going on in your employers mind! As I said they need to deal with this fairly and they should take medical opinion into account, but an Employer is not bound by anything your doctor advises – it is information they can use but do not have to. From what you describe they are probably unsure how to handle this situation themsleves, so I hope they are taking good advice about what to do. I wish you luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • andrew bowser

    Hello Lesley, Thanks for the reply as far as I know I have no contract, have never signed one or being given one so unsure of where I stand also I have not being driving for nearly 3 months and there have been no problems with my work or performance nothing has been said about this until now I am also due to see the medical team about my possible problem on 4th November so cant really understand the action taken due to a possible answer from the medical people in less than 2 weeks, your thoughts on this would be appreciated. Regards Andrew Bowser

  • Clara

    Hello, I am employee in full time in a shop shoes call 4feet in London. I am not paid for 1month and 2 weeks. The lonely reply I have got is `We lost your money` !!
    I am working there since the 18 of august, I did 2 days trial (20h) not paid, do 2 extra hours daily for free because I need to tidy the shop delivery, the manager is discriminating the employees and giving bad treatment to them, I know my rota every sunday 8:30pm for the next week. and they won’t give to me a copy of my contract…what else.. too many crap..
    I am sincerely over and I don’t know what to do. Please can you advise me. I gave my notice today but I am scared this fact make more problems..

    Thank you,

  • David

    Hi, I’ve been working with this school for 12 months now and I just got to see my contract. First they advise that they can fire me on one weeks notice, but I have to give them a full term notice or I am liable for the costs of my replacement. Is that notice period difference legal? Also it is a school with 12 weeks holiday but they state that I m only entitled to 30 days paid leave that I have to take during term even if there are no in holiday working obligations. Does that mean I m not permanent or unemployed for the remainder of the time off? Finally I was under the impression that I was a full time permanent employee but they state that they can reduce my hours at any point if there is not enough work or even lay me off. Do they have to specify if I am a permanent or part time employee and can they reduce my pay like that when I ve been told that I am full timer and my annual salary is x? Look forward to your feedback.

    • lesleyfurber

      HI David, thanks for your message. Yes the fact that the notice periods are different is legal – the minimum you must give your Employer is 1 weeks notice and the minimum they must give you is 1 week’s notice if you have between one
      month and less than two years service; your Employer can ask for or give more than the minimum if they choose. Can you explain again about the holiday as I’m to sure what you mean – you have to take 30 days during term time? Regarding your hours of work etc, do they give you a minimum amount you will work/be paid for? Without seeing how the contract is written exactly it is difficult for me to know what you actually have. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michael

    Hello,I have been suffering with depression off and on for about six years now ,I finished a course of treatment which my gp has said finished to early and I was not completely clear of the depression ,I got into a situation at work were a grievance was taken out against me and an investigation held ,I was signed off for six weeks fully and then given a phased return to work certificate by my gp .a hearing was held on the day I was due to return to work and I was dismissed after 23 years.i had no previous and had always kept the company informed if I was suffering with depression or stress.the company have totally ignored the reasons for my depression which caused the issue.
    No violence or swearing was involved.please help can they do this.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Michael, thanks for your message. From what you have described this appears a harsh and too fast way for your company to do this. You will have a right of internal appeal against your dismissal, and if this does not give you the result you want then you can take a claim of unfair dismissal, and possibly disability discrimination, to an Employment Tribunal. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emily

    Hello, I am looking to leave my salaried job and it’s very likely I will become a freelancer. At the same time myself and my husband are trying to get pregnant. What am I entitled to if I become pregnant only a month or two after starting freelance work?

  • Caroline

    Hello, I work for a charity (mental health) on shifts, that include nights (these are not sleep ‘over nights’ and I work for 7.25 hours from 11 pm till 7 am). Night shifts, just as day shifts, are arranged in consecutive days, e.g. 5 nights in a row, followed by, usually, 2 days off. (I am paid extra for working during ‘waking hours’ but I have no extra days off.) I would like to ask for clarification if it is legal for my employer to:
    1) give me only 1 day off after 5 or 4 nights and request me to be back on shifts (day or night) after this one day. I understand that, given the nature of my job, I am a ‘special case worker’, but does this mean I have no entitlement to daily rest period?
    2) is it legal for my employer to approve a week of annual leave (e.g. starting on Monday) and then put me on night shift on the day before (i.e. Sunday), so that although Monday is my day off, I effectively spent part of that day (till 7 a.m.) at work.
    I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Caroline, thanks for your message. Your employer should give 1 x 24 hour rest period in each 7 days, but as a special case worker you can be exempt from this. If you do not get this rest at the time you should, you should get it as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible afterwards. With regards to the annual leave – I would think that if you say a day of annual leave is a 24 hour period, then this could start at any point; as long as you get the full 24 hours off. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • EnoughIsEnough

    Hello, I am suing my former company for whistle blowing and that because of that I was bullied, harassed & abused by the person (who is, in her mind at least, a prominent figure) I blew the whistle on.

    Their lawyer has now come back, a week before mediation, with the argument that the company I worked for (only 2 men, one of which she was/is apparently having intimate relations with) are not responsible for her actions or behaviour according to an amendment made to the ERA in June 2013.

    I’m trying to find any loop hole or anything that holds them responsible for what she did to me. It was bad. They say that they did not hire her and therefore not responsible. The company I worked for has the main office in Germany but they say the London office is not affiliated & that she was hired by the German company. On paper they are separate but they are the same company. I am suing the London one obviously where she was everyday working and hiring, not in the capacity of consultant.

    If they are not responsible or didn’t hire her as they claim under this new loophole then how did she end up there everyday, hiring people & spending their money for starters? There must be something I can use? I worked there in 2013 for 7 months till she had me dismissed but the claim is whistleblowing.

  • declan5

    I wonder if you could advise me ? My company provide a free uniform for all staff. Every year they have allowed some staff members to purchase some items themselves within a certain budget. This year they have withdrawn this option and have stated that we must have company clothing and we may not return it for any reason. Are they entitled by law to enforce this ?
    John Peters

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi John, thanks for your message. I can’t see your company is doing anything wrong here, but obviously I don’t know the whole situation. Regards, Lesley, workline

  • Tyler lewis

    I’m am working for £50 from 8am-7pm without a contract, I have worked since. October 2013, I don’t know what to do and feel I am being treated unfairly, what can I do? Cheers Tyler

  • Tom

    Hi, I have recently applied for a job in the same company and have been given an intreview, my current line manager is making my life a mysery since I informed her, what rights do I have?

  • yvonne

    A new start has Been promoted to a post that no other member of staff was aware of. Should this have been advertised

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Yvonne, ideally yes, but your Employer can have there own policy on how they recruit to posts. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dondon

    I’ve worked on a freelance contract, doing full time hours, for one employer for 6 years. They now want to change my hours to evenings and I won’t be able to get home because no trains will be running. Can I ask for redundancy.

  • Jonny


    My Partner has a problem with her agency. She works freelance through an agency and has to do her time sheets online. The time sheets only have a start time and an end time. No provision for lunch breaks. Most of the agency’s workers work for one session in the morning or afternoon which isn’t a problem, but my partner works the whole day. When she has put in her hours it included the lunch break which shouldn’t be paid for which she new.

    She called the agency to try to sort it out and was told that it was fine, so she carried on doing this. Nine months later, they have come back to her saying that she owes them money because they have been paying her lunch breaks (which she new and tried to sort out).

    She has no problems paying the money back, but wanted to know if this is the case.

    Also she has just been told that her hours are going to be reduced to half a day, but that doesn’t cover the price of childcare for that day. Now they are saying that she isn’t suitable and are threatening to not hire her for anything anymore (she works other half days at a higher rate that does cover our childcare. Is this discrimination against someone who has a child?

    Hope you can help.


  • Eddy (Ti Demon)


    i would like to know if a signed contract by an employee can be changed upon request of the manager and such alteration is made by the HR of the company with or without informing the employee of the changes and when such changes is implemented the employee will have to work for one day on the shift pattern on which he was to be on day off as the mandatory requirement of the Health And Safety at Work and has to come to work at a lower hourly rate all this because all employees have been put to work under fear or duress.is such things legal(which i presumed it isn’t) or is that an unlawful maneuver of the on site manager which may lead to Harassment at work………………..see copy of an email related to the above

    To All

    From now on guys this 1 in 10 Saturday shift will be part of
    your roster and a requirement of the site. This is not extra cover but a part
    of your shift. I have spoken to HR and can confirm that this has been put in
    place. Please see section 6 of your contract if you have any doubts. Any one
    that doesn’t turn up for their shift will be brought in for an investigation
    moving on to a disciplinary. You was all told when you first started that this
    would happen so no surprise. If you can’t work it you will have to take it as a
    holiday and only given this if cover can be made available.

    I did try the nice way but as I am coming up against
    conflict I am now making it perfectly clear. It is part of your shift.

  • lesleyfurber

    Hi Eddy, thanks for your message. Your Employer is changing your terms and condition, which they can do but they must do this in the right way – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
    Good luck, Lesley, Workline

  • Sue Wesley

    Hi Lesley, a really useful site thank you

    Can you help at all with my dilemma – I have been ’employed’ on a rolling contract for 12 years, paying my own Tax and NI and working full hours, booking in holidays, company phone, laptop etc. I was given a months notice last week, with the reason being ‘overheads’. However I was then asked to come in to work on projects all the way thro to next January. Basically they are just cutting out any of the days when I have little to do. I do understand this, but according to HRMC due to the length of continuous service I am classed as a worker so my question is, does this mean I can get redundancy, back pay for holidays, etc and then still come back in to work on these new projects

    The amount of work they are still offering doesn’t really allow me to pick up work elsewhere as they are just odd days – would this therefore form a new ‘contract’?

    I have queried the situation with HR and they have stopped the termination at the end of the month and want to put me into a consultation meeting. Can you please help me to understand what my rights are before I enter the lion’s den!

    Thank you

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sue, I’m going to e-mail you as this is obviously complicated. With regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tom


    I have been working freelance at a TV post production company in the same role for over a year now, there are other people in the office who have the same job title who are staff. Recently they became very quiet their end and i was told one of them would be taking my role and i would be moved down but only after suffering the indignity of showing this person everything about my role and then stepping down and watching them get on with. This also highlighted what i knew all along, that my role should have been a staff role from the beginning. Do i have any rights here? Should my position have been advertised?


    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Tom, thanks for your message. As a freelancer you have very little rights. There really is nothing you can do about this unless you could prove, at an employment tribunal, that you were actually an employee (the Tribunal would make that decision). However, if you could do this, you would still need 2 years service to claim unfair dismissal. So, I’m afraid there isn’t much you can do here at all. Good luck for the future. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lorraine

    Hi I have been working for over 10 years for an examination board – I have a new supplier contract each year which states I am self employed. I submit exam papers by the deadlines set and should be due payment after an exam meeting – the date of which is set in the agreed timetable. This meeting is however delayed as other members of the team are late with their reports. Recently this delay in payment has been up to one year. This leaves me in financial difficulty especially as I have to buy equipment/software/paper and use child minding. Do I have any rights to pay within a reasonable time limit? Recently we have received pension rights – am I self-employed?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lorraine, thanks for your message. By pension rights, do you mean you have been offered auto-enrollment into a pension scheme with the examination board? If you have that means they are classifying you as a worker rather than self-employed. You need to look at all the written paperwork you have which states when you get paid and need to try to enforce this. There is a law called the late payment regulations – brief details are here but it may be worthwhile you doing a thorough search about it to find out what to do https://www.gov.uk/late-commercial-payments-interest-debt-recovery/when-a-payment-becomes-late
      Good luck, Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Don

    Hi, i am a registered director of my own limited company and i work for an agency through my company. The agency sources for the shift contracts from the NHS (3rd party) while i pick the shifts to cover at various hospital sites own by this 3rd party. On completion of my work shifts, the agency pays my company for the work done. As the director of my company, i am solely responsible for my insurance cover and also to the HMRC for my company’s taxes, annual returns and other dues. i am also responsible for my company’s financial status (profits, expenses and losses), all mandatory trainings required for the job and i am not entitled to the agency’s sick pay, expenses claim and holiday pay. The agency does not pay me PAYE umbrella wages (deducting NIC and taxes) but rather pays the invoiced sum directly to my company’s bank account. Please, is this self employed/ working through my limited company or employed?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Don, what you have described this is self-employed/limited company – you are effectively your own Employer so have to give yourself holiday, sick pay etc. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Don

        Hi Lesley,
        Thanks a lot for this clarification. Cheers!!

  • Guest

    Hi , I have handed in my notice yesterday and people I work for read my notice last night and this morning they weren’t very happy about it as they wish for me to do a calendar months notice which it status in contract one months notice which I would say is 4weeks not a calendar month. We didn’t agree so they are going to clarify it with people that made the contract. Which I still don’t agree with , going to double check the contract tonight. Does one month notice mean a calendar month or 4 weeks?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Guest, there are no hard and fast rules here, but generally a month’s notice would mean a calendar month; if it was 4 weeks it should say 4 weeks. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • peter ross

        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        How about this scenario I actually am currently involved in.

        I work for a large transport operator who want me to resign.
        They offered a settlement offer for me to go a year ago.
        I refused
        Okay so I carried on working there and I was coming up to 4 years continues service.

        The Bang I was told I was banned from my employers customers site.

        The employer said a subcontracted painter has made 2 serious complaints about me

        The painter actually fabricated 2 complaints and also referred to 2 other complaints that also never happened.
        So the painter complains to the customer who owns the sites who the orders that I am banned.
        As I was banned the employer dismissed me.

        My question is the painter who made the 4 complaints all at once and referring to another 2 fabricated complaints total 4 were all heard and judged without my having any say whatsoever.
        The painter who was a subcontractor made 4 complaints to customer who made its decision without any statement from me.

        It was 1 man word against another.

        The 4 complaints he made were
        attempted murder
        tearing down a safety barrier.
        Any comments would be appreciated.


  • lisaHOLZ

    Advice needed! I have a hairdresing salon that’s been open 3 weeks and I’ve taken on 2 self employed stylists Who used to work with me when we were all self employed in our last job! On a trial basis I took hem on, who work around 30hrs for me and freelance the rest of the time, I’ve had to let 1 go already as she just wasn’t up to scratch plus the salon just isn’t busy enough for 2 staff members.the problem I have is she is now demanding I pay her an extra weeks money as she says she’s entitled to it!? Her last day was XMAS eve, and due to her wanting additional holiday off Between XMAS and new year, it’s about 10 days since I told her I didn’t have any more work for her, so that to me is a notice period if she’d actually been working those days in the first place. Her position was self employed anyway, she invoiced me for any work done, and I was under the impression she could leave of her own free will at any given moment without a notice period and visa versa!? Because the salons been open such a short amount of time, there’s been no formal contract drafted up! So my question is, can she sue me! Or am I worried for nothing?! Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lisa, as she is a freelancer you are not required to give her any notice, or she required to give you any notice (but many freelance contracts will include notice periods; I would advise you to get a basic contract drawn up for your freelancers). She only needs to be paid for the work she has done for you. Nothing else. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • BH

    Hi. I have been a freelance PR and marketer for a small company for 18 months. My current contract is about to come to an end – rather out of the blue – and I am being offered a very short term, less well paid contract until autumn – I haven’t seen the details but have been told them verbally. In the meantime I have a further five weeks until the end of my existing contract. During this time my boss is asking me to prepare a highly detailed marketing strategy for a forthcoming project, which I may be asked to work on. I am concerned that they are utilising my skills to do this and then I may not get a new contract at all. I asked when I would see a draft contract and got the response ‘when you have written the new PR strategy’. I am very uneasy about this. Do you have any advice? Or do I simply have to do what is asked of me, even if I may simply be making a successor’s role very easy?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi BH, thanks for your message. If you are a genuine freelancer then you don’t have many rights I’m afraid. Does your current contract have notice periods that the employer has followed? If they are paying you to do this detailed work then that’s really all you can ask for I’m afraid. It is your decision whether you do the work, you have no obligation to do it (as you should be able to end the current contract at any time as well), as they have no obgliation to give you work I’m afraid. Good luck with this. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • Thanks Lesley – I suspected as much but just thought I would ask. Out of interest, does what they are doing feel rather unethical? Or is that just me?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Barbara, yes it is, but they can do it I’m afraid! Take care, Lesley

  • Jule

    Hello there, my daughter has worked for a Company for 20 years, she is classed as self employed but is answerable to the company. She is an Agent collecting money each week. She is supposed to have relief agents in case of her not being able to work. The trouble is everytime one is employed by my daughter he/she is encouraged to take on a full agency, this then leaves my daughter once again without help.

    The last relief Agent she had also had a round of his own but he was sacked a couple of weeks ago. In the meantime, once again being without cover, my daughter has been considering employing her own daughter who has just passed her driving test. Unfortunately my daughter was suddenly taken ill and has been in hospital, she is home now but still not fit enough to work. The Manager rang her up today asking if she was going to work this week she replied that she just cannot do it, she isnt well enough, he then sacked her!!! The Agent who covered for her last week has said that she cannot help this week thus the Manager has to cover it himself and it seems he has taken his anger out on my daughter. Daughter failed to work for one week and cannot work this week…how does she stand surely there is some comeback to being dismissed through illness? The Manager refuses to discuss it with her and to sort out matters, as she isnt fully well I tried to talk to him to explain about her daughter taking it over but he was so rude to me and said he wasnt even going to talk to me.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jule, thanks for your message. If you daughter is genuinely self-employed then she has no unfair dismissal rights I’m afraid. If she has a contract with the company then it may have termination/notice rights, and you should check what it says.

      However, it may not be that she is genuinely self-employed – more details are here http://www.crunch.co.uk/freelancer-advice/2011/02/25/am-i-an-employee-self-employed-freelance-or-a-worker/
      However, to prove that she was a worker or an employee (not self-employed) she would need to take a case to an Employment Tribunal, as they are the only people that can make that decision. If she has doubts that she is genuinely self-employed then it might be worth her talking to Acas about whether she should pursue a claim. Good luck with this. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • paul Soutar

    Hi I work for a parcel courier firm and am classed as selfemployed I pay my own tax and national insurance,but can’t work for anyone else and get told what time to start and finish and how many parcels to take out,I have recently been forced to sign a new contract that pays a third less is this legal? Thanks paul

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Paul, thanks for your message. If you are self-employed then they can change your contract, but you do not need to accept it (although obviously that would mean you might lose the job). If you are an employee they can also change your contract but need to do this in consultation with you. I’m afraid that if you think you are actually an employee and not really self-employed then the only way you could challenge your Employer about this is by taking a claim to an Employment Tribunal that you are actually an employee (as a Tribunal is the only place that can decide this). So, I’m afraid there’s not an easy answer to your question, it’s going to depend on whether you want to or can make a ‘stand’ against what they have done. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Leo

    Hello I work for a popular retailer in England. I am 16 years old and therefore classified as a young worker. However at work I am working shifts starting at 4am and finishing anywhere between 8am – 11am, I wouldn’t mind however I am also studying A levels at Sixth form. On top of this there has been occasions where I have not received a 12 hour rest period between my shifts. For example on a Saturday I will finish at 6pm and then occasionally I will open up at 4am on the Sunday morning. What can I do about this can I refuse to work them?

  • S.B E.B.

    I am a permanent employee in a multinational company for over a year and a half as a manager. I am shocked to see an advertisement for my job. I am not officially in a performance improvement plan either even though my manager has discussed about improving my performance. I am very stressed about this matter. I don’t wanna loose my job. Can you please advise what rights I have on a situation like this and what I can do apart from talking to my manager about it. Can I take legal action against my company?

    • Hi, thanks for your message. I think the only thing you can do initially is talk to your Manager to find out what is going on; there may be a reason for this that is not connected with you. After that you will have to see how they proceed/what they do next before you can see if there is any action you can take. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • suzi

    hi i work for argos on a part time contract but i do at least 45 hours a week that is fine my problem is i am bullied by my manger and some staff members my manger dose not give me full traning and when i mess up he complains i ma scared to say anything can someone tell me what should i do guys ia m so unhappy and i always end up crying when i get home and now i have the feeling my manger is trying to bully me into quitting this all started because i was always getting more product care and cards

    • Hi Suzi, thanks for your message. You should raise this with your HR Department if you can, as they should take this seriously. You can write to them with details about the bullying and they should reply. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • SH


    We are about to take on a self-employed contracted worker and have a company handbook for actual employees.

    We want to give the contracted worker a copy of this however some of the content within is not relevant to this worker. Do we need to edit the handbook completely or may we include a covering page to explain which section are relevant to this worker?

    Many Thanks

    • Hi SH, really sorry for the delay in replying, I was not made aware of your comment until now. It’s fine to give the handbook to the contractor as it is, but with a note telling him what sections are relevant to them. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Fathahul


    I started work for a call centre outbound called unicom its part of BT and are based in city centre and I have been at this job less than 3 days. My manager called me on the 2 day after the shift which is9 am till 6pm and he told me that i no longer need to go as i haven’t been hitting my daily targets. But I only worked 2 days and still on training and I haven’t been given the sales script yet. Is this a valid reason to be sacked as i havent violeted any work condition. Can someone tell me what to do? Thanks

    • Hi Fathahul, thanks for your message. It’s a very unfair thing to do to you, as you haven’t received training, but I’m afraid there is little you can do about as you can’t make an unfair dismissal claim yet. if you are sacked you should have a right of appeal, which you should do if you want to, just so they consider how badly they handled this. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Lyndsey

    Hi, I have just started working in a salon classed as self-employed. I was asked to come in to work at 10 but has no clients in until 1, I did and finished my last client at 4. I text the owner of the salon as she has left earlier, to tell her my last client has left and I was going to leave. She answered saying that the salon was open until 5:30 and is have to stay to help with reception duties. I was not aware of this when I started and I’m being paid by the client not by the hour. I told her I’d stay this once but that I’m not happy doing it every week as I have 2 children I could be spending time with. She said we’ll talk about it on Friday (tomorrow). Am I entitled to come in and leave when I want with these circumstances?

  • G18

    I opted out of making a claim because I was over the 3 month timeline and told being extremely stressed while pregnant was not a good enough reason for being late. Is this true or could I have went ahead ?

    • hi G18, if you’re talking about an employment tribunal claim, then 3 months is usually the limit; but there can be exceptions so if you haven’t already done so you could check again with Acas. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Jo D

    I work as aa cleaner on minimum wage , I have been covering other people’s work while they are on holiday or illness but I don’t get paid for covering their shift . is this right or should I get paid for doing their work

    • Hi Jo, thanks for your message. Yes, you should be paid for this cover, you should be paid for all the work you do. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • sabrina fisher

    I work as a day janitor the previous day janitor walked out on the job and I was offered the position but now 6 weeks later ive been told that they will advised my role/job, internally/externally because the position was temporary but I was not aware of this the client the company work for has said she is happy with my work standards are a lot higher but I feel that the management side are against me as there have been a few problems with cleaning team and new manager but 2 days after the previous janitor walked my manager had interviewed another person but told them that the position is filled(by me) and they would be notified if it became available is there anything that I can do

    • Hi Sabrina, thanks for your message. I’m not sure if you’re employed permanently by the company and work at different client sites (as requested) or if you are employed temporarily. That will make a difference. They should have told you that the job was temporary though, if that was the case. Can the Client talk to your company about this? Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Michael Lander

    I’ve been a freelance radio reporter in the UK for about 15 years and used to sign a regular 12 month FREELANCE contract which said I got a fixed Retainer every month and could be dismissed with a 30 days notice. The last contract we ever bothered to sign was in 2007. I’ve continued to work with this one company ever since. They have now given me 30 days notice – which is fine – but I was wondering, (what with the freelance laws constantly changing) if I have earned together with my final month’s cheque any additional monies as a redundancy payment or pension contrib or suchlike – or am i bound by the terms of the very old rolling contract to just the 30 days payment and no more?

    • Hi Michael, thanks for your message. If you are genuinely self-employed and they have given you the notice that is in your old contract, then they have fulfilled their obligations and you would not be entitled to additional monies such as a redundancy payment. If you could demonstrate that you were actually an employee at an Employment Tribunal then that would be different. If you read the ‘tests’ in this article – https://www.crunch.co.uk/blog/freelancer-advice/2011/02/25/am-i-an-employee-self-employed-freelance-or-a-worker/ – and think you are more likely to be an employee rather than self-employed it might be worth you contacting Acas with a view to making a claim at Tribunal. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Michal Horvatovič

    I was work for a agency as a self employed van driver and i was work before christmas for bonus 290 pounds which was offered to us they said they will Pay it before christmas now is february and we have nothing, after i had enough pressure etc i was write a truth about amazon drivers what happens onsite and How they treat drivers and breaking the law for example let drivers driving 14 hours etc,, after that i was pressured to remove the post because they remove me from services If i dont delete it until i dont come back from my route to depo,they call to my wife as well and said i will loose a job when sme dont remove it, Ok she removed and they sacked me day Later said i was break a rulezz About data protection act and i was list a job because i inform a public they breaking the law at all, even they breaking the everything what they have writen on their webpage about supply Chain rulez. Ok after i said Ok my wife ask them when i receive bonus payment which was due on christmas they said first on this friday and then they said i was damaged a van last week /thing is last week i was off from work/ and If they found something before they should inform me and give me a proof About i done that because vans is park outside on public road, shared with diferrent drivers etc that was look they want to give me false van damage to dont Pay my money what they owe to me.even when they informed me About i was lost a job i asked them can i post that article back ? They said no because Amazon give me to the Court ,,,they should be in Court to breaking the law at all and stealing money from workers. Any Help or advice?

  • Dee

    I work in manufacturing making shop tills and other wood furniture. I finish work at 5pm. Does anyone know what are rights to wash and clean yourself up before you clock off too go home?

    • Hi Dee, a lot of employers would want you to do this after you have clocked off; but you need to ask your employer what their rules are. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk