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We own a beauty salon and want to employ a self-employed nail technician, on a basis of splitting the money that she earns. How do we go about this and what do we need to put in her contract?

If the individual is truly self-employed you and she would be entering into a commercial contract. Providing both parties agree, it can contain whatever legal terms you wish, within reason. Consult a solicitor specialising in this field, as to go ahead without a written, comprehensive and signed contract would be a recipe for disaster.

Employment Tribunals will not just look at the paperwork, they will also consider the actual relationship at the time they consider the claim from the claimant. Relationships do change over time, and whilst the Tribunal might well accept that at the start it was a true contractor/sub-contractor relationship, some years later that might not be the case.

You need advice, therefore, on what constitutes a commercial contract; a worker’s contract under which a worker contracts to perform personally some task or duty and that of an employee. You would then need to monitor the relationship on an ongoing basis and take steps as appropriate to reinforce the desired one. It may in fact be simpler to employ her in the first place and keep all the profits.

Further reading on hiring staff

  1. How to hire staff if you're a small business

See also: Hiring self-employed sales people

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Clare Fleming

I am currently involved in a community group who do a senior group (Bingo, trips) and an Allotment group. One of the board members was going to look at funding to deliver work to young people at the allotments doing it herself including getting paid, I am a little bit worried about this as a group do we have an obligation to set up contract, making sure that paying her NI stamps and would we also have to have the correct policies in place ie Health and Safety or would this be something that she would have to produce documents for. The group is not a charity but it is constituted.

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