Case study

What determines worker status?

What determines worker status?

A recent employment tribunal case looked at whether a worker would be classified as self-employed or as a ‘worker’, as the individual asserted that she should have been paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) due to being a ‘worker’.

The tribunal found that she was not deemed a ‘worker’, due to a variety of reasons.

First, the individual could send a substitution to carry out work in her place and did so on several instances. She did this without prior approval from the engager. Secondly, she took extended periods of time off work to visit family in Colombia and was not paid while she was away. In addition, she did not seek approval from the engager for her absences but simply notified when she was going to be away and sourced appropriate cover for the period of absence.

The individual also managed her own daily cleaning duties and was only supervised for a short period in the first couple of weeks. She was not subject to performance reviews or disciplinary procedures.

For all of the reasons listed above, the tribunal concluded that she was not a ‘worker’ and subsequently, not eligible for the national minimum wage.

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