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Getting paid less than minumum wage!


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I started working for a PLC company in the Summer of 2007. The payment scheme works on the basis that I get £4 an hour for doing my normal duties (showroom cleaning, contacting customers etc) and when my manager gives me ''project work'' I get £7 an hour - this project work can be anything he deems to be outside my normal duties, and is applicable at his sole discretion (though this doesn't happen very often).

 

After 6 weeks or so of working here, my manager told me that the company had decided that all it's lower employees (not management staff) would now be self-employed and have to submit our own pay claim forms and sort our own taxes.

 

My question really is two-fold:

 

1. Can I really be 'told' I'm self employed with less than 3 days notice and no choice in the matter and do I really count as such under these circumstances?

 

2. Given the fact that my basic rate is £4 an hour (and was so before I 'became' self employed), does this not violate my minimum wage rights?

 

I get commission paid depending on how many customers I deal with etc, but this is not reliable and some months I might get hardly anything on top of my £4 an hour wage. I only work part time.

 

I'm very confused as to how they can do this, and suspect they 'made' us self employed in order to get away with paying less than minmum wage!

 

ANy help would be greatly appreciated!

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The short answer is:

 

1. Can I really be 'told' I'm self employed with less than 3 days notice and no choice in the matter and do I really count as such under these circumstances? No

2. Given the fact that my basic rate is £4 an hour (and was so before I 'became' self employed), does this not violate my minimum wage rights? Yes

 

...unless you genuinely are self employed according to its real definition. (The employer does not get to decide.)

 

To be genuinely self employed you would have to be working the role of a contractor taking on the firm as a client. You would choose what work to take on and negotiate your fee.

 

If you an employee, they will give you work which must be completed and set your hours of work. They will set your pay rate.

 

Even if they are making you genuinely self-employed, you would still be treated as being dismissed/redundant which will have other implications for the employer.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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I would speak to the inland revenue - they will advise you on your employment status. A few years back HMRC decided that my husband should have been 'employed' even though he had been seen as self-employed for years, this resulted in a large tax bill and loads of hassle.

 

You can complain about the wages once you have resolved the ablove issue - see the bit on the forum about minimum wage and who to complain to.

 

I would be looking for another job - this co. sounds dodgy.

Poppynurse :)

 

If my comments have been helpful please click my scales!!!!

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