Employment status

Employment status

It’s the most complex issue for building workers, are they self-employed, an employee, or “workers” under the CIS scheme. Working through the CIS does not necessarily mean someone is self-employed.

To discover your true employment status is a matter of law, considering a number of key factors. HMRC website indicator tool is a useful place to begin this process.

The Law

As far as the law is concerned, it is establishing the facts of an employment relationship which helps to determine employment status.

In construction, it is not unusual for employers to attempt to mask true employment status of workers. This can be done by utilising the CIS, or setting up workers with limited company or status. But the reality is that, tens of thousands, maybe many more, building workers should be legally classed as employees.

This would mean entitlement to employment rights such as:

  • Protection from unfair dismissal
  • Right to notice and redundancy pay
  • Statutory sick pay
  • Holiday pay
  • Paternity Pay

False Self Employment

This is when contractors register workers as self-employed when the reality of their working relationships means they should be employees. This is good for a contractor. They evade national insurance contributions, and shirk other responsibilities they would have for employees. It is not good for a worker.

As well as workers missing out on many employment rights, this impacts on both the health and safety of jobs and the numbers of apprenticeships available in construction. UCATT has a long history of campaigning against these practices and will continue to do so. 

If you believe that you are an employee, or that you are being denied any employment rights by your employer, then you can refer to the latest UCATT briefing on false self-employment and contact your local regional office for advice.

Go to top