Employing Freelancers – things to know…

Freelancers are an excellent, scalable resource for production companies, event agencies and event suppliers. Got a busy month? – Book some freelancers! Client decided not to run their event this year? – You’re not liable for paying the freelancers you might have booked on the project!

Freelancers are often highly versatile, skilled and professional people due to;

  1. their reputation being on the line job by job
  2. keeping up to date with their knowledge and skills is a necessity to maintain their edge in the industry and…
  3. being nice to work with is likely to get them repeat clients!

In the event industry, freelancers are likely to either be Sole Traders or operate through their own Limited Company (where they are often the Director and sole employee).  In either of these scenarios they are running their own business, which brings a lot of extra work with it: administration, accounting, invoicing, paying their own National Insurance and Income Tax (as well as Corporation Tax and VAT if they’re Limited), ensuring they have the right insurance cover in place and all the other stuff that your average worker doesn’t have to juggle alongside their actual job.

When it comes to Health & Safety, although event industry* freelancers working on-site are advised (although it is not mandatory, it is in their own interests) to have their own Public Liability Insurance in place (as they may not be fully covered under your insurance or any event insurance in the case of their own negligence), provide their own tools and PPE and take reasonable care in ensuring their own health & safety, as the client you still have a duty of care– a responsibility- to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing when they are undertaking work for you, to assess the risks in the environment and mitigate against them.

*It is to be noted that in 2015 the government made an amendment to the Health & Safety at Work Act to specify that self employed workers in low risk activities (such as journalists, graphic designers and copywriters) are exempt from UK Health & Safety Law and therefore protecting others from harm caused by their work. However working on an event site is similar to working on a construction site, therefore not considered low risk.