Commercial agent status: essentials for employment lawyers
Commercial agent status: essentials for employment lawyers

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Commercial agent status: essentials for employment lawyers
  • The necessary ingredients to establish commercial agency
  • General duties of the principal to a commercial agent during the relationship
  • Requirements as to remuneration and commission
  • Rights and obligations on termination of a commercial agency contract
  • Post-termination restrictive covenants

The scope of the legal rights of an individual doing work is highly dependent on his legal status, as statutorily defined.

For example:

  1. a number of key employment rights (unfair dismissal, maternity leave and redundancy pay) are only provided to individuals who are regarded in law as 'employees', ie who work under a contract of employment: see Practice Note: Employee status

  2. many other rights (eg working time rights, the right to receive the national minimum wage, the right not to suffer unlawful deductions from wages) are accorded to a wider category of persons the statute calls 'workers': see Practice Note: Worker status

A further legal status that is often less familiar to employment lawyers is that of commercial agent. In potentially relevant circumstances, it is equally important to determine whether an individual doing work has this status; if he has, he is entitled to certain important rights under the law which will significantly affect the individual or business for whom he is doing work, particularly at the point when the relationship is terminated, at which stage the commercial agent may become entitled to a significant payment from the principal (as discussed further below).

Broadly speaking, the context in which consideration should be given to whether or not a person will have the status of a commercial agent is where he is being appointed to