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Posted on 10 May 2012 by Conybeare Solicitors

Employee vs. Self-Employed: How to Check?

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It is not uncommon for a business to sponsor students to advance their training, particularly where there is an expectation (or commitment) that the student will work for the company at the end of the course. An Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision has confirmed that these type of arrangements are unlikely to be considered to be contracts of employment if the primary purpose of the arrangement is training and education.

In this case, the EAT had to consider whether a contract to sponsor a former apprentice during a university degree was a contract of employment entitling him to claim unfair dismissal, or a contract which would not give him statutory employment rights. The EAT held that there was no dismissal when the sponsor refused him full-time employment following his withdrawal from the degree.

This checklist explains the significance of the distinction between an employee, a worker and a self-employed contractor. It also sets out the factors that will be considered by an employment tribunal when deciding whether an individual is an employee or self-employed.