The decision in the Uber case has been described as a landmark judgement and could have implications for the ‘gig’ economy as well as other types of business.
The case involved Uber drivers who claimed that they were workers, rather than self-employed and therefore should be entitled to some basic employment rights, such as paid holiday, statutory rest breaks, and pay at least at National Living Wage rates. Uber argued that they were self-employed and that Uber is nothing more than an electronic platform to put the drivers in touch with their passengers.
The Employment Tribunal (ET) agreed that the drivers are workers and therefore entitled to the employment law rights.
When the ET examined their contracts, they determined that they did not correspond to actual practice and the language or terminology was brand new and ‘twisted’. For example, instead of recruiting staff, they ‘onboard’ them and instead of dismissing staff, they ‘de-activate’ them.
So what does the ruling of this case mean for your business?
- Examine how you engage the individuals who carry out work for you.
- Are they genuinely self-employed? Questions to ask : How do you pay them? Do they have to carry out the work personally? Can you discipline them? Do they and can they work for other companies as well as for you?
- Pay particular attention to casual, self-employed, and agency arrangements.
- Review your contracts – look at what the actual practice is rather than what the paperwork says it is. What does the practice look like to someone else looking at it from outside of your business.
- Ensure the individuals who carry out work for you are correctly classified.
- Review your recruitment policy and practice to ensure legal compliance.
If you would like reassurance that you are doing everything correctly, or you would like to find out how Hill HR Consultancy Limited could provide HR Services to your business, please call on 07483 253984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org