Residential property
12 Sep 2017 News

The Gig Economy Rumbles on...

There‘s been a stream of recent rulings on the topic of gig economy workers including cases involving Uber, City Sprint and Deliveroo.

Most recently, Pimlico Plumbers has won permission to appeal a Court of Appeal ruling which saw one of its plumbers (Mr Smith) being classed as a worker rather than self-employed. Classification as a worker brings entitlement to some basic employment rights, including holiday pay.

This is a significant development in the gig economy debate. What it means is that the Supreme Court will need to make a ruling on the Pimlico Plumbers case, which in all likelihood will have important implications for gig economy employers and workers alike. Critically, it’s expected to be the highest case authority in the UK on this question. It’s therefore hoped that the Supreme Court will use the case as an opportunity to offer some much-needed clarity on this area of the law.

In the meantime, the Taylor Review in to Modern Working Practices has been published. Amongst other things it proposes to re-brand workers as “dependent contractors” with supporting law and guidance setting out the tests for said status to be met. - While we can’t argue with the ultimate intention behind the report and its recommendations (its summary states that “All work in the UK economy should be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment"), it’s value remains to be seen; the recommendations are just that and arguably will not have teeth unless and until they become law.

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