I work at a UK university doing part-time teaching. I was looking into statutory sick pay recently, which I see can be claimed by someone on an employment contract. When I look at my contract with the university, I see that they have given me a contract for services. They explicitly state a couple of times in the contract that it is not a contract for employment.
I can see why it would be advantageous for the University not to have to pay me sick pay when I'm ill. Are there any other reasons why they may have given me a contract for services instead of a contract for employment? Are there any potential positive aspects for me about having a contract for services?
I had a look at a definition here, and it says that a contract for services is for "appointing a genuinely self-employed individual such as a consultant". Before looking at my contract more carefully in the last couple of days, I had always understood my relationship with the university to be as an employee. I can't see what about my job there makes me a "genuinely self-employed individual", apart from the fact that the university have chosen to define my role in that way. To me it feels disingenuous to have been given this contract for services instead of a contract for employment, and I suspect that the university have done this for the purpose of avoiding any benefits that come along with an employment contract such as statutory sick pay. Does anybody know if it is standard for UK universities to use contracts for services for their part-time teaching work?
Is there any way that I could reasonably raise this with the university, or with my academic department, to try to be treated as an employee rather than self-employed? Maybe it would be best for me to speak to the teaching union?