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Old 13 July 2012, 09:46   #1
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Threat to organisations hiring freelancers!

Catholic church loses abuse liability appeal | Law | guardian.co.uk

Due to this decision, which may again go to appeal, a law expert on BBC TV, stated that it had implications for all orgainisations 'employing' or hiring freelance people. The organisation, could now be legally responsible for the actions of anyone freelance being 'employed' even if not PAYE.

This could have implications to those hiring/employing freelance skippers presumably.
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Old 13 July 2012, 10:04   #2
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Originally Posted by alant1 View Post
Catholic church loses abuse liability appeal | Law | guardian.co.uk

Due to this decision, which may again go to appeal, a law expert on BBC TV, stated that it had implications for all orgainisations 'employing' or hiring freelance people. The organisation, could now be legally responsible for the actions of anyone freelance being 'employed' even if not PAYE.

This could have implications to those hiring/employing freelance skippers presumably.
Good point, I will seek some info from the BMF as this could impact on operations.
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Old 13 July 2012, 10:34   #3
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The employer / employee relationship has always been an odd one as there are a couple of views...(I have spoken to Ian in the past & am pretty sure spent a few days on a boat with Alant1? )

My understanding is that an employee can be classed as anyone 'under contract of service' . This can of course include self employed - and also makes no difference if they are paid or voluntary - for example for employers liability ( being a legal requirment)is always needed (unless they are close family – but forget that bit for while)

Then of course this opens the door to the HSE rules about PPE - for example even self employed skippers are owed a responsibility & duty of care by employer to be provided with PPE ( water proofs etc etc)and not put in an unacceptable position re risk.

You can then get into liability cover with indemnity to principle clauses and the employers responsibility to employees ( defined any number of ways ! ) to ensure they are suitable trained & experienced risk assesed ( by the employer and the task also asssed by the employer etc for a certain role etc .....

Its been standard for a while that what are classed as ‘labour only subcontractors – ie self employed skippers in this case) who turn up and supply nothing except their own labour would already be covered under the ‘employer’ public liability cover .

Bonafide Sub contractors - ie those that supply ‘stuff’ and themselves would probably not be picked up by the employers public liability policy .

In both cases the ‘subcontractor/ employee’ or may not have a policy of their own ( its not legally required ) that could indemnify the employer for their own actions etc .

But of course its always worth remembering what the definition of what liability actually is is all about …….. what the priest did ( if he did it ) is not what can be reasonably expected etc …..

and of course - the differance between employers liability and public liability........

Of course and has been discussed this is just my personal view as I know bugger all about this stuff…….but I have been in discussion with an underwiter or two with 50+ years combined experiance who are 4 yards away from me .

(This post in no way is me making any kind of reccomendation or giving advice - its just me trying to show its a complex subject so people do need to seek thier own advice blah blah blah )
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Old 14 July 2012, 02:44   #4
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This is nothing new. There is tax legislation already to tax "disguised employees" - Do a search for IR35.

HM Revenue & Customs: IR35 - Countering Avoidance in the Provision of Personal Services

This has been applied to IT Contractors who work for the same client for many years as a "freelance contractor" for many years.

EDI: Ah, rereading the original post, I see this is more about the liability of actions of hired staff rather than the tax status of those people :-) :-) - Need my coffee!!!
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Old 14 July 2012, 05:59   #5
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I work in the construction industry, which more or less exists on subcontractors. I subcontract to larger firms & I hire in subcontractors to do the work I'm subcontracting (with me so far?) I have to have Employers liability insurance to cover the subcontractors that I hire in, similarly, my clients have ELI to cover me. It is my responsibility to vet my subcontractors to ensure that they have the correct qualifications, experience, competency, insurance cover etc. If my subcontractors f**k up, the buck stops with me, they are my responsibility....I choose carefully I have a duty of care under the 1974 HASWA (don't start me on the CDM regs) towards my subbys, whether they are on dayrate or paid on price. The law sees them as my employees regardless of how they are paid. I don't have to provide PPE, but I have to ensure that they have it.

IR 35 is a joke, it was a petty, ill conceived attempt by the one eyed Scottish idiot to recover a relatively minimal amount of PAYE & NI. It cost more to administer than it recovered & just drove people to form individual or umberella limited companies. This resulted in them paying even less tax & National Insurance, than they were paying previously
Cheers Gordon
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