Our previous blog, “After Uber and Deliveroo”, covered the ongoing disputes in the Tribunal system regarding working conditions for those in the gig economy. Individuals are claiming entitlement to sick pay and holiday pay as workers, whereas they are classed by the businesses engaging them as being self-employed, and therefore not entitled to such rights.
Last year’s Taylor Report (see "What does the Taylor Review mean for HR?") recommended far-reaching changes to employment law to address these issues. The Government’s most recent announcement is in response to that report. However, it essentially reiterates the current law and offers consultation on any more radical changes.
The Government accepts that there is a lack of clarity around employment status and the definition of “worker” in particular. It appears to support the recommendation in the Taylor Report that workers are renamed “dependent contractors”, but the announcement falls short of giving any real commitment to detailed changes to the law.
Until the outcome of the consultations and any more concrete legislative changes, it is likely that individuals will still need to bring Tribunal proceedings to gain clarity on their employment status and their related rights, and uncertainty in this area will continue.
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