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Legal stuff self-employed supply teacher

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by MOfan, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. MOfan

    MOfan New commenter


    I've just set myself up as a self-employed supply teacher. I've got over 3 and a half years' experience doing supply through agencies and decided to go it alone. Anyway, I'm after some advice about contracts/terms and conditions and public liability insurance. So;

    1. Should I send out some sort of contract or terms and conditions prior to a booking? If so, what is the name of the document I should use? I've been given conflicted advice, a friend told me I should send out a Letter of Engagement (she's a self-employed accountant) but having looked this up, it doesn't seem relevant to supply teaching. So I did some research on Google and came across Standard Terms and Conditions for Businesses providing Services. The template I found happened to be from an online legal service so I checked with them and they told me I should use either a Consultancy Agreement or Services Agreement. But needless say they would charge me to set up either. So is there anyone on here who has used one of these documents or similar?

    2. Do I need to buy Public Liability Insurance and/or Professional Indemnity Insurance? Again, I've been given conflicted advice. It was actually my union (NASUWT) who brought this to my attention (via their call centre). But on their own website they say that they provide a primary layer of insurance for self-employed teachers. So either the person I spoke to hasn't got a clue or this information is now out of date. Any ideas? Obviously there's no point in asking insurance companies because they will obviously tell me that I need it!

    PS. This is also a matter of urgency because I've just accepted a booking.....

    Thanks in advance!!
  2. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    Oh dear... :rolleyes:
    sbkrobson and pepper5 like this.
  3. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    There is something called ir35 which means according to HMRC you cannot be a self employed supply teacher - others will know more than I do
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  4. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    Hence my 'Oh dear' post earlier. Can of worms.

    There must have been hundreds of posts over the years on the status of supply teachers. Judicious use of the 'Search' facility should bring them up, to save it being written out at length either by me or other posters yet again. A supply teacher can only in very rare circumstances be a 'contractor' and must be an employee, because teaching falls inside IR35. If you set up as self-employed, then you are your own employer and liable to pay tax and NI as an employer.

    In the meantime, I trust you are registered either with Companies House (if you are a limited company), have planned to keep detailed records of income and expenses and made arrangements to pay Corporation tax, or; registered with HMRC as a sole trader, and made arrangements to pay income tax and both class 2 and 4 national insurance contributions.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I'll avoid the serious questions as I don't have the answers. But I can advise here
    Can you persuade the school to employ you on a day-by-day basis? I was told by a HR director that it's an easy matter for HR, who have to handle all the other payroll anyway. This would mean that all your questions can be shelved until you can get decent advice.

    EDIT: Disclaimer - whenever i've tried to be directly employed I discover that HR can't be bothered to do the very small amount of paperwork involved but I'd say it's at least worth trying.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  6. MOfan

    MOfan New commenter

    Yes I am registered as a sole trader, which my accountant friend advised me to do. I've heard of IR35 but otherwise don't know much about it So I take it going self employed wasn't a good idea then?!
  7. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    You don't need insurance. The school's insurances will cover you when you're on the premises.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  8. MOfan

    MOfan New commenter

    So I've now looked into the IR35 issue. I already have a booking for a school starting tomorrow. They don't seem to be aware of the IR35 issue as they've contacted me looking for a supply teacher and they know that I am 'self-employed' (I've registered as a sole trader). As already mentioned, I'm due to start this assignment tomorrow (it's 2 days a week in the same school up until half term). So the question is, should I phone them up and make them aware of the situation, requesting that they pay me via payroll? Or should I keep quiet? They are a struggling school desperate for teaching staff, I've worked with the headteacher before and he's phoned me up because he knows I'm good (his words)
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That's false reassurance to OP I'm afraid. We cannot know whether the school's policy will cover OP (assuming you mean public liability insurance) when we don't yet know what OP's status will be when he is working there, nor what the policy says. OP needs to check it.

    If OP eventually establishes that he is working as an employee under a contract of employment then almost certainly the school's policy will cover him. If he is taken on as a self-employed contractor as he initially intended (now being advised not to do that) the policy probably won't cover him.
    LunaBlue123 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  10. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    They cannot pay you via payroll if they do not employ you!
    You will have to invoice them but you must comply with IR35 regulations

    HMRC do not take any prisoners - they assume everyone knows the relevant employment/tax law!
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  11. MOfan

    MOfan New commenter

    So how exactly do I do that? As from what I've gleaned the onus is on the school to make sure that anyone working in their school is compliant...
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    Cancel the booking. You are not ready yet. Doing things in a rush is never good. ..:cool:
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    So what happens when the agent who got you that role where you already worked with this head teacher finds out you are back there now, working under a flamboyant Stuff The Agencies hat?
    And even if I've made assumptions there, a scenario of outrage could equally apply to future work elsewhere.
    What happens?

    My biggest niggle is that you're going to end up teaching schools why taking agency staff is actually the more workable option...
  14. MOfan

    MOfan New commenter

    I worked with him over 2 years ago. And I was in a fixed term contract from October last year until 31st August so I'm well clear of any agency restrictions.

    And I'm not sure what you mean in your last sentence but I'm guessing you're implying that I'm stealing work from agencies? Well that's competition for you.
  15. pwtin

    pwtin Star commenter

    In the past I have had the odd school employ me directly as a supply teacher, not sure if it is a thing anymore. I have also had schools asking if they could employ me directly as a day to day supply when I have gone there through an agency, of course I always declined. I am going back a number of years, but perhaps this could be the way forward.
    install and agathamorse like this.
  16. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter


    follow this link and look for the Health and Safety tab then click on that. It contains this information, amongst other useful guidance - quote "

    As an agency supply teacher, what is my position with regards to insurance?

    The NEU advises that you should confirm with the agency that schools have the necessary insurance before taking up a placement, as you will not be employed directly by the school. Most employers are legally required to hold employers’ liability insurance which provides insurance cover for their liability to employees should they become injured or unwell at work. Local authorities are exempt from this regulation and provide liability cover, including for schools where the LA is the employer, via their own arrangements. All other schools and academies must, however, hold such insurance.

    The Association of British Insurers (ABI) advises that most employers’ liability insurance covers a fairly broad definition of ‘employee’ including anyone hired by the insured, which would include supply teachers. The ABI also advises that policies can specify this if the insurance provider is informed of the need to cover temporary staff. Some supply agencies stipulate that schools must have employers’ liability insurance which covers supply teachers.
    install, agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    All true but not relevant to my post that you are quoting! You are posting about Employers Liability, an insurance that protects the employer against claims by employees. OP was asking about Public Liability (and Professional Indemnity) insurance, policies that would insure OP against claims made against then OP. The position on Public Liability insurance is as I posted.

    If OP were to have the status of self-employed independent contractor he wouldn't be an "employee" under the EL policy, although he undoubtedly would be if hired directly as a supply teacher under a contract of employment.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    Good post and really useful :cool:
  19. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    You didn't think my post was any good or useful to OP then @install? Even though I posted information about the insurance OP was actually asking about?

    LunaBlue123 likes this.
  20. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

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