It is becoming increasingly clear from the number of claims in the tribunal, that calling a person self-employed does not guarantee that they are not actually a worker. Since the Uber case, there have been claims against Citysprint, Deliveroo and DX.
Uber, Deliveroo, etc are all good examples of when a label does not actually confirm employment status. The tribunals will look at what happens in reality. The phrase “if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck…it is a duck” seems quite apt here.
The issue Uber had was the amount of control they have over the drivers. The tribunal noted that when drivers were “on duty”, they were not aware of who they were driving until the passengers were collected, the route and charge out rate were determined by Uber. Overall, the driver does nothing but drive, rather than take over as a service provider in their own right once a customer books a taxi.
The main points to consider when taking on “self-employed” contractors
- Are they providing a personal service for you?
- Can they refuse work from you?
- How long have they provided “services” to you? Months or years?
- Do you control their work in any way?
- Are you actually their employer in every way apart from PAYE?
It will be interesting to see what happens with the future of the “Gig Economy” not only in the current Government review but after Brexit takes place.
If you need advice on how best to deal with your company employment contracts or need advice on any employment-related matters contact at Beswicks Legal on 01782 205000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.