The Supreme Court has held that when deciding whether a person is employed or self-employed, the terms of any written agreement can be disregarded if they do not reflect what the parties have really agreed.

What does this mean?

Employers who try to circumvent employment law will not be able to rely on written contracts which state that their workers are self-employed if such contracts do not reflect the reality of the situation. This is the case even if Revenue and Customs have already agreed that such workers are ‘self-employed’.

What should employers do?

There are some basic questions, the answers to which will ‘indicate’ whether or not a worker is employed or self-employed but this method is not conclusive. Therefore, businesses who are in doubt as to the status of their workers should take legal advice.