Employing staff on a Contract for Services

My company employs teaching staff on a freelance/ self employed basis and pays them after they invoice us for work done.They work from our premises with our students . What kind of contractual information do I need to provide if any/ what other legal obligations are we under with regards to these staff?

Contract for Services
 As these freelancers are providing a service, it would be normal to have a contract for services whereby both parties are clear on the relationship (there is a Contract for Services template  available for free download on our website).
This need not be overly formal (and could even be in the form of a letter from you to them). However it should contain the following:
  1. heading/title  – e.g. “Arrangements for the Provision of Teaching Services”
  2. description/purpose/the service (basically the product/service description)
  3. parties (your company and the individual teacher – including addresses)
  4. date
  5. where and when the services will be delivered
  6. any equipment or resources provided by you or the freelancer
  7. term – period of agreement
  8. pricing (refer if appropriate to a schedule if this is complex)
  9. pricing adjustment (for example annual increases linked to suitable index)
  10. payment terms (invoicing / vat etc)
  11. any expenses payable
  12. clear statement that the freelancer is responsible for their own tax / NI arrangements
  13. any insurance requirements of the freelancer
  14. specific responsibilities of the freelancer including any performance standards / professional code of conduct etc. expected
  15. specific responsibilities of your company
  16. ownership of any material produced by the freelancer when working for you and what happens to this at the end of the contract
  17. how sickness absence should be reported and dealt with
  18. confidentiality
  19. any conditions around working for a competitor
  20. termination and force majeure
  21. prevailing laws
  22. signatures of both parties

In terms of other legal obligations, HMRC are particularly interested in an individuals employment status and the impact on payment of tax and NI – you can satisfy yourself that your freelancers are effectively self employed by following the guidance here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/index.htm.

 If the individual does not prove to you they are self-employed (e.g. through a letter from the tax office), and they fail to pay their tax / NI your company may well be liable for this. Many companies now automatically deduct tax / NI (incl employers NI) from their freelancers to avoid this.
The only other obligations would be your duty of care to them to provide a healthy and safe working environment and to avoid any form of discrimination.
(Article reviewed January 2018)


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