Another day brings another gig economy case.
This time, Addison Lee has become the latest in a line of companies who have faced an Employment Tribunal over employment status.
It was ruled that a former cycle courier was a worker, not an independent contractor as the company claimed. As such, he was entitled to holiday pay, the national minimum wage rate and protection from discrimination. The amount of holiday pay that is owed will need to be determined at a later hearing.
The ruling follows the eagerly-awaited Taylor Review, which was published in July. In the Review, it was suggested that the government should provide a clearer outline of what employment status tests should entail. It was put forward that the key principles should be laid down in primary legislation and supported by secondary legislation or guidance.
The Review also argued that the government should keep the distinction between employees, workers and self-employed, but it should rename the category of people who are eligible for worker’s rights but who are not employees as ‘dependent contractors’. When developing the tests for the “dependent contractor” status, more emphasis should be placed on “control” and less on the “requirement to work personally”. It was also suggested that the burden of proof should shift from the employee to the employer; therefore it would be the employer who would need to demonstrate that a particular employment relationship does not exist.
With tribunal fees being scrapped, the key questions are whether there will be more individuals launching legal action about their employment status and how the government will respond to the Taylor Review’s suggestions.
To discuss this topic further, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our Employment Law Advisers can provide you with guidance and support to navigate the tricky waters of employment status.