Freelance Contracts Help Firms Reduce Employment Risks and Costs.

In a desperate attempt to get employers hiring again the UK Government is preparing to shake up the employment tribunal system with a raft of radical measures.

Controversial moves such as increasing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one to two years, scrapping the payment of expenses in hearings and introducing a fee to lodge a claim are being considered.

The raft of actions is designed to curb the number of tribunal claims which rose to a record 236,000 last year, a rise of 56 percent in 2009.

The Government proposals come after businesses raised concerns that the current system has become too costly. Takes too much time, places unnecessary strains on small businesses and that it is too easy to make unmerited or vexatious claims.

Last year actions cost firms an average of £4,000 each to defend leading a Commercial Contract expert to argue that hiring a freelance is the best way to get the work done and avoid being stung.

“Whether the government makes the qualifying period for claims one or two years makes little difference, getting the right person, reducing cost and managing risk are what matters,” said David Reilly, commercial director of Create Ts and Cs, a company specialising in creating tailor-made business contracts.

“A ‘contract for service’ is the answer, and with over four million people now self-employed, why not share the risk and hire a skilled person on a contract basis?

“An effective contract for services can also include performance-related milestones, review periods, notice periods for both parties and protection for your customer database, outline customer ownership and where possible anti-competitive clauses.”

With top lawyers warning that employers who treat the qualifying period extension as a ‘licence to sack’ could unwittingly sow the seeds of future costly and complicated discrimination claims it’s never been more important to look at the fine print.

“Getting the right person on a contract basis will save money both in the short and long-term,” said Mr Reilly.   “We can help by drafting a bespoke contract for services in line with your business and client requirements.”