This guide, produced in collaboration with law firm Lewis Silkin, focuses on self-employed contractors. Although the term ‘self-employed’ is not defined in legislation, it is generally accepted to apply to those individuals who run and manage their own business and who would, for example, have control over how and when, they do the work and who carries it out. They would also negotiate a price for the work to be carried out.   

Businesses and individuals should be aware that a self-employed individual may be categorised as self-employed for tax purposes but be considered an ‘employee’ (or more likely a ‘worker’) under employment law and therefore entitled to certain statutory rights and protections. Further, where an individual’s services are provided to a business client via a ‘personal services company’, certain tax-related obligations will be triggered under the IR35 regime.  

This guide is designed to help employers understand the relationship that they have with their self-employed contractors and highlights any legal issues that they may come across. It also includes information and key points for self-employed individuals to help them understand their employment status and rights.  

Self-employment and an overview of the law

Employment status - where do the self-employed fit in?

Summary of key rights and protections

Employing an individual versus engaging a self-employed contractor – the advantages and disadvantages

Tax and contractors

How to decide what contract to use


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