MH Update Employment

Thursday 9 November 2017

Employment roundup: Employment Status,  Tribunal Fees and GDPR

It’s been a busy few months in the world of employment law. In this section we look at the plethora of ‘employment status’ cases working their way through the courts and tribunals and we provide an update following the Supreme Court’s decision on Employment Tribunal fees.

1.Employment status: the more things change, the more they stay the same

The long-awaited Taylor Report of Modern Working Practices was finally published in late July and is an authoritative review of the current landscape of ‘employment status’. It made some novel suggestions like replacing ‘worker’ status with that of ‘dependent contractor’ but some commentators were disappointed that it did not call for a more fundamental overhaul of the current system. Indeed, the initial excitement following its release has been replaced by a degree of scepticism over whether its recommendations will be implemented, given the lack of consensus as to what should change and the current government’s lack of a parliamentary majority.

Meanwhile, the courts and tribunals have been very busy with ‘employment status’ cases. Citysprint, Addison Lee and Deliveroo have all lost landmark ‘employment status’ disputes at Employment Tribunal level. Pimlico Plumbers, having lost in the Court of Appeal, is due to have its case heard by the Supreme Court on 20 and 21 February 2018.

Uber’s appeal against the Employment Tribunal’s ruling that their drivers are ‘workers’ (not self-employed contractors) was heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in late September. Uber’s argument centred on saying that their business model was nothing new or novel. They said that local minicab companies had been operating in much the same way for decades. They said that all Uber does is connect self-employed drivers with riders and the fact that they do this on a grander scale than a typical minicab company is irrelevant.The judgment is expected on 10 November 2017 (check our twitter page for updates!).