Another case of “freelancers” being classified as workers

In Braine and others v The National Gallery, the Tribunal has decided that 27 “freelance” art educators at the National Gallery were “workers” during individual assignments.
The Tribunal rejected the National Gallery’s argument that the individuals were independent contractors. The individuals were offered assignments on a periodical basis and during this time they were under the control of the Gallery, required to perform their roles personally and were integrated into the organisation. For example, they undertook training with the Gallery, they were not permitted to appoint a substitute and they were required to comply with the Gallery’s teaching and presentation guidelines.
In this case the Tribunal confirmed that not every art educator would be deemed to be a “worker”. For example, if an individual carried out work at another gallery and was not subject to the same level of control and integration, they could be deemed to be self-employed. This case is the latest in a steady stream of cases where individuals classified as self- employed have been held by the courts to be workers. Whilst every case will be fact specific, this case is another reminder of the importance of ensuring that both an organisation’s employment documentation and practices mirror the employment status that it wishes to accord to an individual. Failing to do this could put an organisation on the hook for paying, amongst other things, the National Living Wage and holiday pay.