A-Z of Worker Help

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Education Workers

An education worker is any worker whose job role impacts or influences the education of both young people and adults, including but not limited to, teachers, school administrators and school caterers.

Find information from GOV.UK on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak.

Elective Deductions Model (EDM)

Under the EDM, an agency worker is treated as self-employed for employment law purposes and ‘elects’ to have ‘employee’ taxes deducted from their income and paid over under PAYE. This means that as far as HMRC are concerned, everything is fine.

Putting workers in EDM arrangements saves the agencies concerned money, however, is unlikely to benefit you in any way at all (in particular your key ‘worker’ rights like minimum wage and holiday pay are bypassed). As such, you should think very carefully about accepting such terms and conditions.


There is no single test to determine whether a person is an employee but you will generally be an employee if there is a ‘master/servant’ relationship. That is, you are required to work, personally, for someone (who is required to provide you with such work) and do that work under their control and in accordance with certain terms and conditions.

Employees have most protection under employment law and have their taxes and National Insurance contributions deducted at source by their employer under the PAYE system.

Employee and Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

If you are an employee, you pay Class 1 NIC on your earnings from employment, such as, salaries and bonuses. The amount you pay depends on how much you earn in a particular pay period. LITRG have more information about employee NIC on their website.

Your employer pays Class 1 NIC on your earnings too. Sometimes they will show the amounts that they have paid in employer NIC for your information on your payslip – they are not being deducted from your pay.

It is quite common for people who work through an umbrella company to think that they are paying employer NIC. However, this is not actually usually the case, but is rather down to some confusion about how an umbrella company works.

Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate

The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS) regulates employment agencies that find and supply temporary work-seekers roles with hirers. Their website is here.

To make a complaint to the EAS about an employment agency, use the online reporting form on GOV.UK.

Employment Status

Establishing your employment status is crucial for determining whether you should pay tax under PAYE and your eligibility for certain employment law rights.

There are two statuses for tax purposes (employee and self-employed) and three for employment law purposes (employee, worker and self-employed).

You can read more about employment status in the JobsAware guidance.

Enforcement Bodies

There are three main labour market enforcement bodies – HMRC National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage (NMW/NLW), Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS).

Beyond these, other bodies play an important role too. These include HMRC (tax) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as well as trade unions – you can read more about HSE Occupational Health and HMRC (tax) further into this A-Z. For information on the vital role played by trade unions, go to the TUC website.