Employment and self-employment

Updated on 9 April 2018

This section of the website looks at tax for those who are employed or self-employed. This is a particular area of importance for migrants who come to the UK.

Whether you are employed or self-employed is not just relevant to your tax affairs but is also relevant to your employment law rights such as entitlement to the minimum wage. You can find more information on employment law rights in general on the ACAS website.

Whether you are employed or self-employed is not a matter of choice; it depends on the circumstances. The distinction between employment and self-employment is not always clear; some businesses try to exploit this, by treating you as self-employed when you should be treated as an employee. This can save the business money.

As such, you should beware of the following situations:

  • someone offers you work and gives you the choice of being employed or self-employed;
  • you go to work for someone, thinking you are an employee, but the work-provider tells you that you are self-employed;
  • you go to work for an employment agency – which sends you to work at different jobs for different people – and the agency tries to treat you as self-employed or arranges for you to be paid by someone else, for example an umbrella company or a payroll company.

In any of these situations it is important for you to find out the facts and work out for yourself whether you are employed or self-employed, or both. If you need help, you can find out where to get advice in our 'getting help section'.

This section has more information on the following topics:

Why not check out of easy-to-digest factsheet?