Employment Law & The Gig Economy

Jas Dubb, The Wilkes Partnership, Employment Law, Birmingham, Solihull

If you are recruiting staff – whether on a self-employed basis, hiring workers or employing staff directly – the law is an ever changing minefield of regulations you need to comply with.

In a high profile Employment Tribunal case taxi drivers engaged by e-commerce taxi firm Uber have been recognised as workers rather than self-employed contractors. The judgment means that Uber could face a significant increase to its costs base, in having to pay drivers holiday and sick pay. Uber is currently appealing this decision.

Jas Dubb, employment law specialist at The Wilkes Partnership advises on how businesses can protect against and minimise their risk of facing similar types of claim.

Businesses such as Uber fall into a new business category commonly referred to as the ‘gig economy’, which often use on-line platforms to sell goods and services. Many e-commerce businesses have historically engaged staff on zero hour contracts to minimise their overheads. Examples of these type of businesses include the likes of Deliveroo, Uber and CitySprint cycle courier.

This flexible work arrangement has been hugely beneficial to the running costs of the business, as they often class staff as ‘self-employed’ who are then responsible for their own tax and National Insurance contributions. But this arrangement has come in for criticism as it makes life difficult for the workers who have no fixed income, are unable to make financial plans and have reduced employment rights.

“We are seeing more and more e-commerce businesses emerging and the law is playing catch up with the way these businesses recruit and retain staff”. It is therefore absolutely vital for businesses to seek advice from a specialist who can prepare tailored contracts specific to the needs of the business and legally compliant.

“We also act on behalf of employees, workers and the self-employed. Many of these individual seek advice on whether they are entitled to basic rights such as sick pay, holiday entitlement and notice pay”.

For advice on any employment related matter and to discuss our Free Employment Health Check for your business please contact Jas Dubb at The Wilkes Partnership on 0121 233 4333 or via email at jdubb@wilkes.co.uk