Employment Status

Since the ruling of the Uber case in October 2016 there has been a string of recent cases concerning employment status, in particular, whether individuals are workers or self-employed.

The most recent ruling in an Employment Tribunal in Leeds was that Hermes couriers were workers and not independent contractors.  As workers they are entitled to receive benefits such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay.  This is the latest ruling to affect workers in the “gig economy” and adds to a growing number of legal cases where courts have ruled that individuals should be classed as workers and not as self-employed.

An important decision by the Supreme Court last month found that a tradesman working for Pimlico Plumbers should be classed as a worker rather than self employed.  Its decision has been seen as important because although it does not break new legal ground, it will influence the way judges in the lower courts deal with similar cases going forward.

The Pimlico decision does not meant that you cannot successfully operate a business model using genuinely self-employed contractors.  However, it is important to carefully consider the reality of your relationship with them rather than relying on contractual labels or tax structures.

If you require any further information on the gig economy and how it could affect you or your business, our Employment Team can offer legal advice and support. Please call us on 01603 751926 or email hr@hansells.co.uk.