Why worker status matters
In our recent employment law blog on worker status, we set out the various technical legal meanings of employees and workers. Recently the Supreme Court gave its decision on an appeal in the case between a plumber, who was working “self-employed” and the company Pimlico Plumbers (the “employer”). The plumber claimed in an employment tribunal claim that he was correctly to be classed as a worker according to meaning of “worker” in the Working Time Regulations 1998. The employment tribunal looked at the evidence and decided that the plumber did qualify as a worker under the meaning set out in the Working Time Regulations. The employer appealed that decision to the higher courts, and ultimately to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision was that the employment tribunal was entitled to reach the judgment it did. So, the employment tribunal’s decision that the plumber, while “self-employed”, was still a worker within the meaning of the Working Time Regulations was upheld. Having worker status effectively means that the individual can claim statutory holiday and sick pay from the company. The Supreme Court ruling follows number of recent high profile cases that have made the press headlines, including the Uber taxi driver case, where the people working under flexible arrangements were found to have workers status within the legal definition, meaning that they can claim holiday pay and sick pay from the companies that they work for. Having worker status also provides other employment rights, including protection from discrimination in the workplace. The key factors that allowed these people to succeed was that once they took on a job they had to do that job personally, substitution clauses were qualified, and there was some degree of control by the employing company. The evolving cases surrounding worker status, especially with the advent of apps and the uptrend in working independently through an “employer’s” app, demonstrates just how complex and dynamic employment law can be.
About Remedy Solicitors
This update on our earlier blog on employment status was written by Ashok Kanani, business owner and Principal Employment Solicitor at Remedy Solicitors. As a specialist employment law legal practice in London, Remedy Solicitors have expertise in advising on disciplinary or performance proceedings at work, grievances, dismissal, discrimination, bullying and harassment and settlement agreements. For more information on our services visit our home page.