Cross Street Law Centre in Erith has recently identified questionable practices by some employers that are being used to circumvent the law and deny workers their legal rights. Some of the jobs have been advertised by the Job Centre and use the phrase ‘this is a self employed vacancy’.
Patrick McNamee, the Employment Caseworker at the law centre, said:
“Over the last few months we have noticed a significant increase in people attending our Monday Advice sessions who told us they are ’employed as a self employed person’ or not paid the National Minimum Wage or holiday pay. This is wholly illegal and denies the person their legal entitlements.”
In some cases the employer is assuming people are ‘illegal’ and not paying the National Minimum Wage but in all cases the Law centre was able to establish they were legally in the UK with permission to work but not to claim benefits.
Concerns with the high number of people with these issues led the Law Centre to contact Teresa as the local MP. Teresa was previously employed at the Inland Revenue (now HM Revenue and Customs) and is fully conversant with employment law related to ‘self employed and employed’ people. She has contacted the Police and Border Agency and is currently investigating other cases referred to her.
“I am an active supporter of the Law Centre and the work they do in the community and I am grateful for them raising this with me. If someone is deemed ‘self employed’ it means National Insurance and Income Tax isn’t being paid at the correct level and more importantly the ’employee’ remains liable for the correct amount. The company is also denying the public purse of their National Insurance contributions and the employee’s tax.”
“It is essentially ’employing on the fiddle’ and takes us back to the sad old days when people were paid cash in hand, had no protection against unfair dismissal and no entitlement to paid holidays. I stood to be an MP to combat injustice. I didn’t expect to be rolling back time and arguing again for National Minimum Wage and holiday pay. I will continue to work with the Police, Border Agency, and the Law Centre on this matter.”
Cross Street law Centre offers employment advice at 4 Cross Street, Erith every Monday between 10-12.30. No appointment is necessary.