What is a labour only sub-contractor (LOSC)?

Providing an exact definition for a labour only sub-contractor is not straightforward, but if you can answer “yes” to most of these, the worker is probably a labour only sub-contractor:

  • Are they paid by the day/ week/ month?
  • Can they receive overtime?
  • Do they always have to do the work themselves?
  • Can you tell them at any time what to do, where to do it, and how to do it?
  • Do you supply the materials?

Looking at the questions above, to some extent, it boils down to the level of decision making and autonomy that the worker has. For the purposes of UK labour law; a labour-only sub-contractor is an employee. They do not provide their own materials and tools normally. They work under the direction of the contractor. They will need to be factored into your insurance calculations as employees as typically they will not provide their own insurance coverage.