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A major report into the UK’s current and potential future working practices was published last week. Authored by Matthew Taylor, a former Government Advisor, its’ main points recommend a number of key changes to how those people active in the so called “Gig economy” should be treated.
Companies in that sector, such as Uber and Deliveroo have hit the headlines recently in employment law cases that have looked at the protection (or lack of) in place for those workers engaged on a “per job” basis. Last year, a Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers were not self-employed and should be paid the national minimum wage.
One proposal is to create a new status of “dependent contractor”. This would fall between full employment status and those engaged on a self-employed basis. The report mentions the development of an online tool whereby people could easily tell what their employment status was. Ultimately however, it will still be up to the courts to determine who is and is not employed.
In effect, this is likely to mean that the increasing number of people who work for the likes of Uber and Deliveroo will be entitled to receive paid holiday pay and sick pay. Those workers would also have a legal right to be given details of their rights on day one.
The report does not recommend a ban on zero hours contract but does suggest those on such contracts should benefit from a new minimum wage and have a right to request a fixed number of hours.
Given the need for Government and parliamentary approval, there is some way to go before any of the proposals become law especially given the uncertain political and economic climate but the report does give a clear direction of travel that should be noted by employers.
If you are looking for employment law advice for your business, you can contact Ramsdens Employment team on 01484 821 500.