Labour Xchange

Community is here for everybody, and we are proud to work closely with Labour xchange to provide their users with a foundation advice service. We hope this offering helps you find your feet when you find work through Labour xchange, but if you want to really flourish and become the best you can be, in and out of work, full Community membership will get you there more comfortably. From bespoke legal advice to tailored support packages for any working environment, with Community in your corner you are never alone. Sign up to Community today and get the first three months FREE by clicking here.

 

Tax & National Insurance

To work out how much tax and national insurance you must pay, you will firstly need to work out whether you are employed or self-employed. This is usually quite a straight forward process, however working through Labour Xchange may mean that you are employed in one job and self-employed in another.

As soon as you become self-employed you must register with HMRC and file a tax return for each year you are self-employed. Not completing this process or doing so incorrectly can lead to issues such as being issued with a fail-to-file penalty.

If you are self-employed, it is likely you will need to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs) as well as income tax.  The amount of NICs you will have to pay depends on your level of income.

Some self-employed people also need to register for VAT, although this doesn't apply to everyone.

Dependant on the complexity of your accounts, it is sometimes recommended that you employ an accountant to manage your books. You may be able to do this yourself but if your ability to book keep doesn't meet the necessary requirements it can lead to incorrect book-keeping and further costs to correct a situation.

Talk to our advisers for more tips - they're a phonecall away on 0800 389 6332.

Discrimination

When it comes to discrimination, the self-employed have the same rights as other workers. Discrimination may relate to age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender reassignment, disability, colour, race, nationality, religion and ethnic background.

In reality, the way in which a self-employed person deals with discrimination may be difficult. Unlike an employee, a self-employed person does not have a manager or human resources department to discuss and complain about instances of discrimination.

Discrimination is rarely a case of 'right' or 'wrong' though, and many working people in the UK struggle daily with overcoming discrimination in the workplace. Community members needn't worry about this though, as our Service Centre have a team of bespoke legal advisors who can identify discrimination and help you reach solutions and outcomes without the stress of 'what next?'.

Health & Safety

The self-employed must assess workplace health & safety to themselves and to others. This is a duty under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Self-employed people will sometimes work together, if that is the case then everyone has the right to expect that their fellow workers have assessed potential risk to themselves and others.

Similarly a self-employed person working on a client's premises has the right to expect that the client has carried out the required risk assessments. These risk assessments must apply to the self-employed workers as well as the client's employees.

As with most law, protections and rights will differ dependent on circumstances, Community has been protecting our members in the field of health & safety for over 100 years.

Our team a just a phone call away on 0800 389 6332.

Contracts as a self employed worker

Some self-employed people sign contracts with their clients. These contracts contain details of rights and responsibilities.

These rights and responsibilities may not be part of employment law for the self-employed. The exceptions are references to discrimination and health and safety. A contract is more likely to focus on the specific work a self-employed person performs for a client.

The detail of these contracts differs from industry to industry. A self-employed person should be familiar with this detail. If not, it’s wise to study and fully understand a contract before signing.

As the law isn't fully equipped to deal with the changes in self-employed work, it is crucial that workers like you are protected and educated when working with clients. Community members are able to speak directly to our legal advisors whenever they need them, and also have access to our associate team of lawyers, who support our members navigate complex law on a daily basis.

Pensions

Self-employed people have a right to a state pension. But they can only receive a state pension if they have paid the necessary national insurance contributions.

Responsibility for national insurance lies with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Once a self-employed person has registered with HMRC, they receive regular national insurance invoices.

This type of support is something Community has had experience with before, and while we cannot directly advise you in relation to these matters, we can sign post you to trusted professionals who can offer the next step in an easy to understand manner.

Welfare benefits & tax relief

Self-employed people on low income have a right to receive tax credits and certain welfare benefits. This can also include Jobseekers allowance and statutory maternity allowance.

You may be able to claim expenses as a tax relief if you are self-employed or working from home. This can include office costs, travel costs, clothing expenses and financial costs.

You can claim these on your self-assessment tax return so there is no additional work to be done. Just keep records of all your business expenses as proof to your costs.

Ensuring you know your entitlements and how to access them can be quite tricky, and at times stressful when trying to earn a living. Community can do the groundwork for you, providing the right answers when they are needed most.

Holiday pay

Self-employed people do not have a right to holiday pay. Sometimes, however, a self-employed person works for a client who classes him or her as an employee. This may occur when an agency gives a self-employed person full-time work. The contract between the agency and the self-employed worker should have relevant pay details.

As holiday pay can be circumstantial, it opens up the opportunity for misunderstandings when expecting entitlements from employers. As a member of Community we will always be ready to clarify any queries you have about this issue.

Illness

Generally speaking, the self-employed cannot receive statutory sick pay when they fall ill. If a self-employed person is sick, he or she may be able to claim employment and support allowance from DWP.

With this being another circumstantial entitlement, don't leave it to guesswork. Get in touch with our team.

Are you truly self-employed?

There is no one thing that completely determines your employment status. If there is a dispute about your status between you and the person or company for whom you work, an Employment Tribunal (Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland) will make its decision based on all the circumstances of a case.

The sort of things the tribunal will look at fall into four main categories. Think about it as a sliding scale with 'employee' at one end and 'genuinely self-employed' at the other.

Remember that this is for guidance only and a definitive answer can only be given by an Employment Tribunal (Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland) or court:

1.) Control: the extent to which the employer decides what tasks you do and how you do them;

2.) Integration: the extent to which you're part of the organisation;

3.) Mutuality of obligations: the extent to which your employer is required to offer you work and whether you're expected to do it;

4.) Economic reality: the extent to which you bear the financial risk.

The biggest issue we believe to be for those using Labour Xchange is understanding the balance between working for an employer and working for yourself. Our Community expert legal advisors are trained in all fields of employment law matters and may be able to advise you on understanding your employment status.

They're just a phone call or email away.