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What employment issues have been raised by the ‘gig economy’?

The concept of the ‘gig economy’ made the headlines recently as a result of the high profile employment tribunal for online taxi service Uber. Jeremy Harvey, Partner and Head of Employment and HR at Coodes Solicitors examines the legal issues and what it means for employers.

The phrase
‘gig economy’ is suddenly becoming widely used. It is a fairly broad term that
covers short-term, ad hoc and casual working arrangements. It’s becoming a hot
topic – an employment tribunal in London on the rights of drivers for
cab-hailing firm Uber is making the headlines and MPS have just launched an
inquiry into UK working conditions, focusing on the treatment of casual
employees in the gig economy.

 

For
businesses, there are legal issues around whether the staff they employ are
self-employed or in fact employees, with the rights and benefits that come with
being that status. If staff are in fact legally classed as employees, they
should be paid the National Living Wage as well as being eligible for holiday
pay. High profile cases such as the investigation
of Hermes

and its treatment of delivery workers and the Uber employment tribunal,
illustrate how the confusion over the legal status of employees can impact on a
business and its staff.

 

Even if staff
are legally classed as self-employed, businesses need to adhere to a range of laws
relating to their welfare, including health and safety and data protection
legislation.

 

Despite the
fact that it refers to casual employment, work carried out in the gig economy
is the main source of income for many people. Employers should think very carefully
about how they look after staff, whether they are employees or self-employed.


Blog supplied by Coodes Solicitors. For more information on
this or any Employment enquiries contact Jeremy Harvey, Head of Employment and
HR at Coodes Solicitors on 01579
325794 or jeremy.harvey@coodes.co.uk

www.coodes.co.uk

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