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Salon worker declared 'employee'

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Salon worker declared employee

It has recently been reported that a former hairdresser at a salon in Manchester, has successfully argued that she should be considered an employee for the purpose of the Employment Rights Act 1996, despite having signed a contract stating that she was self-employed.

It is reported that the employee’s working day was heavily controlled by the salon and she had no control over her pricing or hours of work. It is also reported that the salon kept 67% of the employee’s earnings and that she had to alert them of any time she intended to take off as holidays.

For these reasons, the employment tribunal held that the claimant was an employee for the purpose of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and was therefore entitled to receive holiday pay, notice pay and redundancy pay.

This judgment could have far-reaching implications upon those in the beauty industry and other industries alike. Further, it highlights the importance of receiving informed legal advice from a specialist in matters such as this both prior to signing contracts of employment or otherwise and potentially thereafter.

The primary difference between a self-employed person and an employee is that a self-employed person is responsible for the running of their business and are responsible for it’s successes and failures. An employee, however, has very little flexibility over their job role and their day-to-day tasks are generally controlled by their employer. Employees have more  rights and protections than self-employed persons.

Discrimination is defined within the Equality Act 2010 and extends to unfavourable treatment of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of one or more protected characteristics. Protected characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Section 39 (1) of the Equality Act 2010 sets out that an employer (A) must not discriminate against a person (B): in the arrangements A makes for deciding whom to offer employment; as to the terms on which A offers B employment; or by not offering B employment.

Should you find yourself in a position wherein you need advice on your contract of employment and your worker status, or you believe that you have been discriminated against, we may be able to help. Please get in touch with one of our employment law and discrimination specialists to see if we are able to assist, call us on  0161 696 6170 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

By Zoe Bagnall, employment and discrimination advisor