Employment rights for thousands of peripatetic music teachers could be about to change dramatically across the UK.

The recent ruling - handed down by Employment Judge Moor at the East London Hearing Centre - opens the way for peripatetic teachers across the UK to be afforded certain rights and protections such as holiday pay, national minimum wage and whistleblower protections, as well as protection from discrimination (under the Equality Act, 2010). This awards the candidates the same rights and protections if they are engaged by a school to provide music tuition, even if the lessons are paid for directly by the parent.

Mugni Islam-Choudhury, a barrister at No.5 Barristers’ Chambers, successfully argued that a music teacher employed to provide services to pupils was a worker, rather than self-employed entity. These teachers are an integral part of the schools they work in, are being paid a rate set by the school, and help to deliver the music department’s ‘offering’ to their student body.

“This [ruling] will allow them to receive holiday pay, but importantly will give them protection as whistle-blowers should they ever have cause to raise any safeguarding issues". Mugni Islam-Choudhury

He went on to add that everyone in school environments has a duty to raise safeguarding issues if there is a genuine concern. The problem being that if the person raising the issue is not recognised as a worker there is “no protection against their contracts being terminated at the whim of the school”.

Source: Arts Professional