Will the Pimlico Plumbers case affect osteopathy?

justice-2060093_640The recent Pimlico Plumbers v Smith Supreme Court decision regarding workers’ rights for self-employed people has raised questions as to how this could affect the relationship that some associates have with the practices they work within.

The court ruled that the individual involved, who worked as a self-employed contractor, was entitled to the same rights as an employee, such as holiday and sick pay.

A number of members questioned whether this may affect them, so the iO sought expert legal advice. It was confirmed that the ruling was specific to the case itself and has not led to any change in the law. However, there are pre-existing steps that should be taken to mitigate any risk of an employment relationship arising.

There are a number of differences between an organisation’s relationship with employees and self-employed contractors, and it is sensible where possible to maintain these distinctions.

A self-employed individual should be contracted through their business, rather than as an individual.

There should be no obligation on the employer to provide regular work, or on the individual to accept it. The individual should also have considerable autonomy in their work, without too much direct supervision. They also should not be obliged to work exclusively for one organisation.

Self-employed individuals generally provide most of their own equipment, are responsible for any losses incurred for the employers, and are not integrated into the business to the point where it seems like a de-facto employment relationship. It is also important that the self-employed individual is responsible for their own taxes.

The iO provides a draft Principal / Associate agreement, along with other useful business resources. You can access these by visiting www.iosteopathy.org/running-your-practice

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