Gig Economy Updates – July 2019

Following on from January’s post, below are updates in relation to the employment status cases that have occurred so far this year. 

ADDISON LEE

Addison Lee has become the latest Gig Economy company to lose an employment classification case. In April, the Court of Appeal in London refused the request by Addison Lee to appeal the decisions made by the Employment Tribunal (ET) and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

The case involved Mr Gascoigne, an Addison Lee courier who brought a claim against Addison Lee over holiday pay. Mr Gascoigne claimed he was a worker, not an independent contractor and as such was entitled to the same rights as a worker such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay. Addison Lee claimed that Gascoigne was an independent contractor. In May 2018, the EAT upheld the ruling by the ET that Mr Gascoigne was a worker and therefore entitled to holiday pay.

After the judgement made by EAT, Addison Lee appealed to the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision made by both tribunals. As the Court of Appeal has rejected their appeal, Addison Lee will now have to uphold the EAT’s decision and provide the courier with back-pay for holiday entitlements.

PIMLICO PLUMBERS

The worker who won a claim against Pimlico Plumbers at the Supreme Court last year has lost his bid to claim back holiday pay. In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the decisions by the ET, EAT and Court of Appeal in London and found Mr Smith to be a worker and not self-employed. The ruling by the Supreme Court meant that Smith would be able to pursue his disability discrimination claims and those for unlawful deductions and holiday pay.

However, in April 2019, an employment tribunal in London ruled that Mr Smith, who had worked with Pimlico Plumbers for seven years until 2011 had not filed his holiday pay claim quick enough. As a result, Mr Smith was denied his back-dated holiday pay of £74,000. Mr Smith is expected to appeal this decision.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

New EU Legislation for Gig Economy Workers

Workers in the Gig Economy such as Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders etc., will be given new employment rights across the EU. On 20th April, the European Parliament in Brussels, announced new minimum rights for workers in casual or short-term employment. The new legislation sets out the employment rights for the new forms of employment including on-demand workers, intermittent workers, voucher-based workers, platform workers as well as paid trainees and apprentices.

The new EU regulation aims to promote increased transparency and better protection for workers in casual or short-term employment. Genuine self-employed workers are excluded from the new legislation.

Under this legislation, workers will be informed from day one on the essential aspects of their employment contract such as description of duties, remuneration, start date, and working day hours. In addition, workers in on-demand employment will be able to refuse work outside their predetermined hours set (without consequences) and will have a right to compensation from their employers for last-minute cancellation of work.

This new legislation will allow all workers to have minimum employment rights and prevent employers from abusing the flexibility in the labour market. EU member states have three years to implement legislation.

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