Which workers are covered?
This section provides general information on employment law. If you have specific questions, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer or trade union.
WorkLine offers advice on the website, through a confidential phone number or email. The service is sponsored by the UK Film Council and Women in Film and Television, and supported by Goodman Derrick LLP (Employment Lawyers).
The information in this section of the Diversity Toolkit has been compiled by the independent research organisation Incomes Data Services (IDS).
The tables in this section set out the legal rights of employees and other workers, such as freelancers. Employees have more rights than other workers, but some rights apply to everyone.
There are a number of factors which indicate whether or not someone is an employee. They are likely to be classed as an employee if they:
- have a contract of employment. The contract does not need to be in writing
- provide work or services personally, and cannot send a substitute
- fall under the control of the employer's rules and disciplinary codes
- do not have to provide their own equipment to do the job
- do not take on any financial risk by doing the job
- are responsible for managing any of the employer's other staff
- do work which forms an integral part of the business
- are restricted by their contract from working for other parties
- are paid a regular salary or wages rather than payment through invoicing
- are paid for days off due to illness
- receive paid leave
- are entitled to join the company pension scheme.
Even if a worker is on a short-term contract, if they meet the conditions listed above, they will be classed as an employee and this gives them employees' rights. Fixed-term contract workers:
- qualify for most employment rights from the first day of employment, such as the rights relating to holiday pay, working hours and anti-discrimination
- have the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of their fixed-term status.
The rules relating to fixed-term contracts are covered by the Employment Rights Act 1996.
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