UK considers new legislation to clarify workers’ employment status UK considers new legislation to clarify workers’ employment status

UK considers new legislation to clarify workers’ employment status
20 Nov 2018

UK gig economy workers could see their employment status aligned with their tax status in future under potentially wide-ranging, new legislation that is currently under consideration by the government.

Leaked plans revealed by the Guardian suggest the government plans to act on a number of the 53 recommendations made by the July 2017 Taylor Review into modern working practices. This new legislation could help to clarify what is classed as self-employed status by aligning tax and employment law. Such a move would ensure gig economy workers received better protection under UK employment law, according to People Management.

Meanwhile, in the latest gig economy ruling on employment status, drivers for UK taxi firm Addison Lee were categorised as employees of the company rather than self-employed. 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgement means that thousands of Addison Lee drivers are now entitled to receive the national minimum wage and holiday pay. The company had claimed its drivers were self-employed contractors rather than employees.

Sue Harris, legal director at the GMB union, which brought the case, said: “Other employers should take note – GMB will not stop pursuing these exploitative companies on behalf of our members.”

The union has won a number of similar victories against hail-riding service provider Uber and courier company Hermes. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that a man carrying out work for Pimlico Plumbers also met the definition of being employed.

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws urged the government to follow through on its commitments to begin consulting on Taylor’s report on modern employment practices in order to clarify the law. 

"The law has not kept pace with changes in how people are employed and the rapid growth of the gig economy," she told the Law Gazette. "Employees and contractors are treated differently when it comes to employment rights and tax responsibilities. This means organisations are incentivised to find loopholes to their benefit, which can be detrimental to the employees."

But a spokesperson for Addison Lee said the company was “disappointed” with the ruling as it said it enjoyed a “positive relationship with the vast majority of our 3,800 driver partners".

"In common with most of the industry, the majority are self-employed, and with earnings at a record high, over 60% said they were likely or very likely to recommend working for Addison Lee in our most recent driver satisfaction survey," the spokesperson added.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Proposals for UK gig workers to pay income tax would cause 'confusion'

Pressure mounts on UK government to regulate gig economy

IRS warned to take action over growing US gig economy

 

UK gig economy workers could see their employment status aligned with their tax status in future under potentially wide-ranging, new legislation that is currently under consideration by the government.

Leaked plans revealed by the Guardian suggest the government plans to act on a number of the 53 recommendations made by the July 2017 Taylor Review into modern working practices. This new legislation could help to clarify what is classed as self-employed status by aligning tax and employment law. Such a move would ensure gig economy workers received better protection under UK employment law, according to People Management.

Meanwhile, in the latest gig economy ruling on employment status, drivers for UK taxi firm Addison Lee were categorised as employees of the company rather than self-employed. 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgement means that thousands of Addison Lee drivers are now entitled to receive the national minimum wage and holiday pay. The company had claimed its drivers were self-employed contractors rather than employees.

Sue Harris, legal director at the GMB union, which brought the case, said: “Other employers should take note – GMB will not stop pursuing these exploitative companies on behalf of our members.”

The union has won a number of similar victories against hail-riding service provider Uber and courier company Hermes. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that a man carrying out work for Pimlico Plumbers also met the definition of being employed.

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws urged the government to follow through on its commitments to begin consulting on Taylor’s report on modern employment practices in order to clarify the law. 

"The law has not kept pace with changes in how people are employed and the rapid growth of the gig economy," she told the Law Gazette. "Employees and contractors are treated differently when it comes to employment rights and tax responsibilities. This means organisations are incentivised to find loopholes to their benefit, which can be detrimental to the employees."

But a spokesperson for Addison Lee said the company was “disappointed” with the ruling as it said it enjoyed a “positive relationship with the vast majority of our 3,800 driver partners".

"In common with most of the industry, the majority are self-employed, and with earnings at a record high, over 60% said they were likely or very likely to recommend working for Addison Lee in our most recent driver satisfaction survey," the spokesperson added.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Proposals for UK gig workers to pay income tax would cause 'confusion'

Pressure mounts on UK government to regulate gig economy

IRS warned to take action over growing US gig economy

 

Leave a Reply

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing