Employment Status – Gig Economy

It looks like the key employment law issue for 2017 will be employment status. In recent months, there have been cases affecting a range of workers operating in the ‘gig economy’ where employment tribunals have held that they are entitled to paid holiday under the Working Time Regulations and to be paid at the rate of the National Minimum Wage. Some of the press coverage has struggled with the idea that individuals who are classed as ‘self-employed’ are actually entitled to a range of employment rights, but there is nothing unusual or surprising about this. The fact that someone is self-employed for tax purposes simply means that they are not an employee employed under a contract of employment. They can still be entitled to rights afforded to ‘workers’ – those who have a contract to perform work, but who are not running a business independent of the ‘employer’. They therefore qualify for working time and minimum wage rights (an important consideration given that the

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