Law at Work says the genuinely self-employed are 'businesses operating on their own account, selling goods and services at arms-length to other businesses and to their own customers.
They take the business risk of failure and the financial rewards of success. They can employ their own staff and sub-contract work to others.' (Law at Work 2020 (LRD Publications), p37)
If you are classed as self-employed, you are not eligible for statutory employment rights such as the National Minimum Wage, holiday pay or sick pay. You, rather than the employer, must provide your equipment. You are also responsible for your own tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). The genuinely self-employed are not included in pension auto-enrolment, and must provide for their own retirement apart from the state pension, assuming they have paid sufficient NICs.
The NUJ has a questionnaire that aims to determine employment status. It is available from the union's head office [email protected] .