Tag archives: employment status

Professional Cyclist held not to be an employee or a worker

The EAT has held that an employment tribunal was entitled to conclude that a professional cyclist was not an employee or a worker of the British Cycling Federation. In Varnish v British Cycling Federation (t/a British Cycling) the claimant had commenced proceedings before an employment tribunal claiming, amongst others, unfair dismissal and discrimination.  The preliminary consideration for the employment tribunal was whether the claimant was an employee or a worker within the meaning of s230 Employment Rights Act 1996.

The claimant had entered into a series of written “Athlete Agreements” with British Cycling (the respondent), the last of which was … Continue Reading

De nouvelles obligations pour les plateformes de mise en relation

Les plateformes de mise en relation (comme Uber ou Deliveroo), qui sont de plus en plus utilisées en France, font pourtant l’objet de nombreuses critiques, principalement fondées sur les conditions de travail des travailleurs indépendants qu’elles utilisent dans le cadre de leur activité.

Le Gouvernement français s’est donné pour mission d’encadrer l’activité de ces plateformes, en particulier en ce qui concerne leur responsabilité vis-à-vis de ces travailleurs indépendants.

La loi Travail du 8 août 2016 a créé, au sein du Code du travail, une partie dédiée aux travailleurs utilisant ces plateformes, et a mis à la charge des plateformes une … Continue Reading

Extension of whistleblowing protection

Workers in the UK are protected from suffering a detriment where they have made a protected disclosure under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996). To be protected under section 47B ERA 1996 the individual must be a worker as defined by s203(3) of that Act.  A recent decision of the Supreme Court considered whether the right should be extended to other office holders, in this case a District Judge.

The District Judge is an office holder and as such does not fall within the definition of worker. She made various disclosures regarding the justice system and claimed that she … Continue Reading

What to expect in 2019

Following a Government-commissioned review of employment working practices in the UK which was published in 2017, a number of developments in employment law reform are expected over the coming months.

The Government published its latest proposals in December, covering a number of areas for change, some intended to improve the enforcement of employment rights, some to increase transparency and clarity of rights between employers and workers (including issues relating to employment status) and others to improve the rights of atypical workers. This post highlights some of the key areas for change.

Employment status

A key area for change is in … Continue Reading

Singapore: “Watershed” Amendments to Employment Legislation

Singapore’s employment laws are set to undergo watershed changes come April 2019. In summary, a greater number of employees – in particular, professionals, managers and executives (“PMEs”) – will soon be able to avail themselves of the statutory protections contained in Singapore’s Employment Act, the key employment legislation in Singapore.

The single most significant legislative change is the removal of the monthly salary cap of SGD 4,500 in respect of PMEs. Presently, only PMEs below this salary cap have the benefit of the provisions in the Employment Act relating to minimum periods of notice, paid public holiday and … Continue Reading

Appointing Contractors through a personal service company – employment and tax implications

Following on from the recent cases on employment status there has been much discussion regarding how individuals should be appointed. Whilst some commentary has suggested that companies should consider appointing their contractors through Personal Service Companies (PSC’s), is this an ideal solution?

Currently, where a private sector employer appoints a contractor who operates through a PSC, the client company does not have to deduct income tax or NICs under PAYE from payments made to the PSC or pay employer’s NICS. The individual typically receives a small salary and dividends from the PSC and it is up to the individual to … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court holds that plumber engaged by Pimlico Plumbers was a “worker” and not a self-employed contractor

The Supreme Court has dismissed the latest appeal by Pimlico Plumbers Ltd (the Company) against the employment tribunal’s decision that one of its plumbers, Mr Smith, was a “worker” under the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) and the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).   The Supreme Court held that, on the facts of the case, Mr Smith satisfied the key elements of worker status in that he undertook to carry out work personally for the Company and that the Company was not in the position of a client or customer of a business carried on by him.

BackgroundContinue Reading

Issues of employment status: pseudo self-employment and hidden personnel leasing in Germany

German labour law follows the “all or nothing” principle: Labour law regulations presume an existing employment relationship between employer and employee. If no such relationship exists, protective labour law regulations cannot be applied (with a few exceptions e.g. in the case of managing directors of a “GmbH” (limited company)). Assessing whether an employment relationship exists requires evaluating the nature of the relationship in question and assessing it against the legal definition of “employment”.

As in many other countries, Germany witnessed the trend of reducing core workforces in favour of a more flexible use of external resources. This in particular lead … Continue Reading

Issues of employment status in France

France makes a distinction between those individuals with an employment status and independent workers.

Under French employment law, an employee is defined as an individual who works pursuant to an employment contract (and under the subordination of the employing entity) and receives a salary in return for his or her services. Unlike an employee, a consultant remains independent from his or her client and is not subject to the supervision of an employer

The category in which a person falls is of particular importance as in one case, the individual will enjoy all the protection and rights arising from French … Continue Reading

Italian labour court hands down landmark decision on Foodora case with potentially far-reaching implications for any company active in Italy’s growing Gig economy

On May 7, 2018 the Labour Court of Turin handed down a landmark decision in a case brought by delivery bike drivers or couriers (“riders”) working for Foodora, an online food delivery company that offers meal delivery in 10 countries worldwide, including Italy.

Amongst other things, the riders, each with a freelance work contract with Foodora, sought a relabeling of their work contracts from the “freelance” category to the “subordinate employment agreement” category. In effect, the relabeling of the work contract requested would give rise to an obligation on the part of Foodora to pay the riders an increased wage … Continue Reading

The UK Government’s Good Work Plan and the Gig economy

Further to our post on the UK Government’s announcement (7 February 2018) of its Good Work plan following the Taylor review of Modern Working Practices published in July last year (the Review), the Government’s full response has now been published (the Response) together with the four consultation documents promised.

The key proposals detailed in the Response and the four consultation documents are set out below.… Continue Reading

The UK Government’s Good Work Plan

(Note: Since drafting this post, the Government has published the consultation documents so a further update will follow.)

 

The UK Government has today (7 February) announced its Good Work Plan (the Plan) in response to the Taylor review of Modern Working Practices published last year which set out a number of recommendations, in particular with regard to the so-called “gig economy”. It provides a brief outline of what is proposed but, so far, without the detail needed to clarify its precise plans.

The Government promises to “act” (largely dependent on consultation) on almost all of the Taylor … Continue Reading

AI and the future of work – UK Prime Minister puts Modern Industrial Strategy at the centre of the Government’s agenda

In her speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Theresa May focused on the UK Government’s plan to develop a Modern Industrial Strategy to best harness the huge potential of the technological advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) whilst addressing the profound concerns about any negative consequences.

Modern Industrial Strategy 

The Prime Minister acknowledged the significant benefits which advances in AI have already brought to the world, from drones saving the lives of drowning boys to machine learning reducing unnecessary cancer surgery.

However, she also acknowledged the new and profound challenges which need to be addressed, not only … Continue Reading

A Framework for Modern Employment – House of commons report.

The Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committees have published a joint report on “A framework for modern employment” (the Report) which considers how the employment framework should be amended to reflect the modern workplace.

The Report acknowledges that “the expansion of self-employment and business models built around flexible work on digital platforms promise positive opportunities for entrepreneurs, workers and consumers alike”, but also stresses that the changes can also create confusion as to the rights and entitlements for workers and can add to the potential for exploitation. The Committees have therefore looked at the recommendations made … Continue Reading

Uber appeal – Drivers have worker status

The EAT has dismissed Uber’s appeal against the employment tribunal’s decision that its drivers are ‘workers’ within the meaning of S.230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and the equivalent definitions in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA 1998) and the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR 1998).   The EAT held that the employment tribunal was entitled to reject the characterisation by Uber of its business in the written contractual documentation and to look at the situation as a whole.

There are three levels of employment status in the UK: self-employed, worker and employee. Self-employed individuals are not … Continue Reading

Modern Workplaces – Wide ranging recommendations in the Taylor Report

The long awaited Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices was published on 11 July. The recommendations from the review throw some interesting questions into the mix. The general theme  is the need for an adaptable, consistent and protected community in which employment and security of workers can prosper.  It will be interesting to see how this will transpire in practice. Some of the main points from the review are mentioned below, but a further more detailed briefing will follow.

Employment status

The Review calls for the retention of the three-tier approach to employment status, with further clarification of the definition … Continue Reading

Employee, worker or self-employed?

In UK employment law a person’s employment status determines both their rights and responsibilities. An individual can be an employee, a worker or self-employed.  Whilst traditionally individuals were employees or self-employed there has been a significant rise in “worker” status.  The recent reported case of Aslam and others v Uber BV considered whether drivers had rights as workers or were self-employed.  This case could have a significant impact on all workers in the “gig” economy.

A worker under UK law is defined under section 230(3) Employment Rights Act 1996 as an individual who has entered into or works under a … Continue Reading

Limited Liability Partnerships members’status as workers

This post was co-written by Lesley Harrold,  Senior Knowledge Lawyer (Pensions), Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (London)

Employment Status

Since its introduction in 2000 the limited liability partnership (“LLP”) has become a popular corporate vehicle for professional services providers in the UK, especially legal and accountancy firms, many of which have converted from traditional partnerships to LLPs. An LLP combines the flexible structure of a partnership with the advantage of limited liability for its members, which arises from it having separate legal personality.

The UK has different categories of employment status:  Self-employed, employee and worker.  Whilst partners in a traditional partnership … Continue Reading

New rules on employee shareholders

Controversial rules allowing employees to waive certain employment rights in exchange for shares in their employer’s company came into force in the UK at the beginning of this month.

The new rules, set out in the UK’s employment legislation, provide for a new type of employment status known as an ‘employee shareholder’. Essentially an employee shareholder agrees to give up certain employment rights, including the right not to be unfairly dismissed and the right to statutory redundancy pay, in exchange for shares in the employer’s company (or its parent) worth at least £2,000. The employee shareholder also gets the benefit … Continue Reading

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