An Employment Tribunal recently ruled that Uber drivers should be classed as ‘workers’ as opposed to ‘self-employed contractors’. If this decision is upheld on appeal, this could potentially affect many of the so-called ‘gig economy’ workers who are currently classed as self-employed. Other businesses which use a sharing economy model or who use self-employed drivers will need to reassess their relationship with their workforce.
Another recent case, Pimlico Plumbers v Smith, ruled in favour of Smith (a plumber providing services for Pimlico Plumbers). He was classed as a 'worker' based on his lack of control over his work (eg he was contractually obliged to do a minimum number of hours per week and could only delegate work to other Pimlico Plumber workers). He wore a uniform, drove a company van and therefore provided personal services to Pimlico Plumbers.
Another case involving a group of delivery couriers at Hermes, the delivery company, won their case at the Employment Tribunal to be classed as workers rather than self-employed contractors. Similar to the Pimlico Plumbers case, the Hermes delivery couriers are now entitled to benefits such as minimum wage and holiday pay. The couriers were not deemed to be self-employed because they are obliged to perform services for Hermes rather than their own business interests. There is a dependent working relationship such that they are not truly self-employed.