HOLIDAYS FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED ?
Q. I am self-employed and have had a contract with the same company for the last three years. This is my sole source of income. I get two weeks paid leave under these contracts – which are annual. I understand that employees are entitled to a minimum of four weeks paid leave – plus public holidays. As a self-employed individual, I don’t appear to have those rights. Is that correct?
A. This is quite a tricky question as you say that you are “Self-employed” and also you refer to the rights of “employees”. Employers engage persons on either contracts of service or contracts for services. Only a person engaged under a contract of service is an employee and therefore protected by the full range of employment legislation. An independent contractor or self-employed person will have a contract for services with the party for whom the work is being done. The distinction between a contract of service and a contract for services can sometimes be unclear but the type of contract a person is engaged under can have serious implications for both employer and employee in matters such as employment protection legislation, taxation and social welfare. If you are considered to be an employee then you have a statutory right to a minimum of 4 weeks paid leave annually.
Your tax status will show whether you are paid under the PAYE system or are regarded as self-employed. In addition, Revenue has a Code of Practice for Determining Employment or Self – Employment of Individuals which should help to clarify your position. Take a holiday anyway !