As an employer in the UK in the 21st century, you are subject to a whole raft of laws that – 30 or 40 years ago – would have been unthinkable.
Many of these have been imposed by successive UK governments, but a whole lot more have been imposed by the EU. As an employer, the law now thinks of you today not as someone providing employment, but rather as some sort of villain who is only too willing to exploit the lives of others for your own benefit.
Certainly, there are a few unscrupulous businessmen who will always seek to extract what they can from others. That goes for any business, and in any industry. There are always a few rotten apples in the barrel.
However, the vast majority offer employment to others because both parties can benefit. The business owner/entrepreneur risks his own money and time in order to develop a successful business, and while doing so, offers employment to people who are happy to be employees and do not want to take the sort of risks incumbent in running and controlling any sort of business.
They want the security of a monthly wage, together with all of the other benefits that employment offers, with none of the risks. It is probably fair to say that this accounts for 95% of the population. As a result, everybody is happy.
Or at least, they used to be.
Today, that is no longer the case. It is true that, over the years, there have been appalling cases of employers exploiting their workers, and as a result, legislation has been brought in that protects workers and leaves an employer open to widespread exploitation the other way around.
Employees are almost encouraged to sue their employers for the slightest grievance – real or imagined. It costs the employee nothing to bring a case for sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, harassment, or any one of a huge number of other “offences”. The employee can only win, or it costs him or her nothing. Even if the employer does not lose the case, he still has to pay his lawyer’s fees.
Here is a classic example. A female soldier won £1 million “compensation” in 2014 from the MOD when she fell 30 feet from the top of a human pyramid at a drunken party in her barracks. Seriously.
With the law weighted so heavily against the employer, it is no wonder that many businessmen are now looking to things such as outsourced typing services to help them maintain their businesses without any of the appalling legislation that confronts them if they actually employ anyone.
An outworker is a freelance who can work as little or as much as he or she wishes, take time off, go on holiday, go sick, get pregnant, and offer services as it suits him or her.
The “employer” pays more by the hour than he would to an employee, but only uses services by the hour, and is not responsible for anything like National Insurance, pension schemes, holiday pay, or anything else.
Using outsourced typing services also means that he is getting expert results from people who he has no need to train, because they are all qualified to do what they do, and if he should by some chance fail to get the results that he wants, he can simply go elsewhere. Try doing that with an employee.
You have to give verbal warnings, written warnings, and then run the risk of getting sued for unfair dismissal, even if you have followed all the rules religiously.
Using outsourced typing services, you get all of the benefits of hiring expert help, without any of the downside. It makes perfect common sense.