Freelancers in court

February 28

Freelance UK highlights a curious case of worker misclassification, which is now being heard in a UK court:

Two highly educated and well-respected creative writing lecturers are suing Oxford University for forcing them to accept unfavorable contract terms as self-employed but effectively treating them as employees, depriving them of a number of benefits. They speak of the "uberization of higher education" and claim that nearly 70% of people working for the university have similarly precarious contracts.

The burden of proof is on the two creatives, according to the article’s author, who is a lawyer. If they succeed, it could have a significant impact on the UK’s freelance economy.

Indeed, UK freelancers are already facing concerns from companies about hiring self-employed workers due to the new IR35 legislation designed to prevent the misclassification of employees. If it now turns out that self-employed workers can effectively claim retroactive compensation, it would likely make it harder for British freelancers to build long-term business relationships with corporate clients or institutions.

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