What is bogus self-employment?

Part of our mission here at Eastern European Resource Centre is to make people aware of their rights at work, to make sure that our clients are in legal employment and that they are not being exploited at work.

Many of the most disadvantaged Eastern Europeans are unaware of the difference between self employed or employed status and many unscrupulous employers take advantage of this, resulting in many people being forced to become self-employed to keep their jobs.

Bogus self-employment is a situation when a person who should have an employee status is asked by employer to register as self-employed.

One of our clients was offered a job in one of the Polish shops in East London, but to her surprise instead of an employment contract she was asked to sign ‘Agreement of Supply of Contract Services’. The contract said that as the ‘seller’ she will charge the ‘buyer’ (the shop) ‘the price for the service £7.50 per hour’. She was also told that she has to register as self-employed if she wants to work.

Another client working in a trendy fashion boutique in West London was told that if she wants to keep her job she has to register as self-employed as her employer won’t be able to pay her national insurance contributions any longer.

In both cases it is bogus self-employment.

You should seek advice if you are in a similar situation, as false self-employment means that your employer won’t have to pay you National Minimum Wage, sick pay, holiday pay or maternity pay.

At the moment only Employment Tribunal can confirm your status as employee if e.g.:

  • you are required to work regularly unless you are on leave and you are paid hourly rate
  • you’re required to do a minimum number of hours
  • your manager decides when and how you work and you can’t send someone else to do your work
  • your employer provides the materials and equipment for your work.

Are you unsure of your status or have any questions about your rights at work? Call us at: 020 8741 1288

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