When thinking of getting some additional help from a freelancer to help with a big
project, a little planning will help to avoid any problems that may crop up.
The first thing to think about is that hiring a self-employed freelancer means that some
employment legislation that normally applies to UK workers (National Minimum
Wage, Working Time Regulations etc) don’t apply to genuine freelancers and quite often a freelancer will set their own rate of pay.
It is very important to find out exactly what the freelancer’s employment status is before you start signing them up – you don’t want to be neglecting their worker rights.
Be clear with them from the very start – explain exactly what it is that you need
them for. How long will the work take? Will there be an ongoing requirement for the
job, or is it a one-off? Will they need to work in your office or can they work
Be specific, honest and clear about your needs.
Also, make sure that you listen to the freelancer’s needs as well. They may have
their own ideas that you, your business and the project in question could really
Put it in writing
Once you’ve found the right person, it’s important that you get the right paperwork
in place. Having a contract drawn up and signed means that both you and the
freelancer are legally protected should things go wrong at any point.
What would happen if you paid the freelancer half of the cost of the project upfront,
but then the freelancer disappears? If you have a contract then they can still be held
legally accountable. It can be very risky for small businesses and freelancers to work
without a contract in place, so it is very important to have a signed agreement in
place before any work begins or money changes hands.
Finally, make sure you communicate with the freelancer during the project. Schedule
regular meetings, ask how they’re finding the work and discuss any ideas the two of
you may have about improving the project. It’s important not to come across as
overbearing and to show the freelancer that you trust them to work independently,
but communication is important.
Practicalities of Working with a Freelancer
Once you have chosen the person that you wish to work with, you need to ensure
that you do not treat them as anything other than a self-employed contractor. If you
do otherwise, you could be liable for worker rights etc.
To ensure that the contract is one of the services provided, make sure that the following
is undertaken: –
1. The Agreement between you and the Freelancer should specify that they are
self-employed;2. In an ideal world the Freelancer will have their own limited company;
3. The Agreement should state how much the Freelancer will be paid;
4. The Freelancer should invoice you after the completion of the services
5. The Freelancer should be able to subcontract work to other people with the
relevant skills, qualifications and insurance. However, they should not do this
without your prior written consent, which should not be unreasonably
6. The Freelancer should provide evidence of indemnity and insurance for the
services which they will provide;7. Try not to fall into the trap of treating the freelancer as an employee, e.g. do
not pay holiday pay, sick pay or give a bonus;
8. The Freelancer should be able to do work for other businesses.
For more help and advice with self-employed Freelancers contact us at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk