This site uses cookies. and this alert will appear once and then not again.

Do Trade Unions have a role in the workplace of the future?

In a judgment issued yesterday, the High Court rejected an application for judicial review made on behalf of a delivery company’s riders that they were “workers” for the purposes of statutory collective bargaining. The claim was brought by a new trade union, the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB). This is discussed further below, but this case is only one of many in which trade unions have recently been using the law as a tool on behalf of individuals in the gig economy.

Status: it's all in the name

It's been some years since law books had titles like "The Law of Master and Servant". Times change and we don't use those terms any more. But semantics are still important in the area of what in the US we'd call labor law: for example, what does it mean when someone is referred to being employed or self-employed? It's easy to think that a self-employed person pays their own tax and has no employment type rights. That is by no means the case and this confusion was apparent in some media reports of the Employment Appeal Tribunal Addison Lee decision issued last week. "Drivers held to be employees" was a typical headline. In fact, the drivers were held to be "workers" not employees. There is a significant difference in the consequences of being put into one or other of these categories. So what exactly is this difference?

Status - it's all in the name - Part 2

The first question sounds straightforward. After all, legislation was in force well over a hundred years ago relating to people classed as "servants". The courts have been handing down decisions on the issue ever since. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that in many circumstances, it can still be very difficult to categorise someone correctly. There seem to be more tribunal and court cases on the point now than ever. The result is that after all this time, businesses and individuals are faced with uncertainty and lack of clarity on this most basic of questions which affects both their tax and employment rights and obligations.

IR35 - making the best use of the next 17 months

When the Government announced its response to the Off-payroll working in the private sector consultation in the recent Budget, it came as little surprise that it opted to move forward with its “lead option”, ie the extension of the current public sector rules into the private sector.  However, having announced an April 2020 implementation date, the Government seems to have listened to the flood of representations calling for a sensible lead time for the changes.

Director of Labour Market Enforcement estimates 'Wage theft' of over £1.5 billion in the form of unpaid holiday pay

The Government’s response to the Taylor Review (The Good Work Plan) alongside Sir David Metcalf’s publication of his Labour Market Enforcement Strategy for 2018/19 and a number of recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decisions have all brought holiday pay right to the top of the agenda for employers across the UK over the last few months.

Breaking News: National Minimum Wage update

The latest list of National Minimum Wage (NMW) breaches was published on Friday 6th July by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It includes nearly 240 employers with total arrears of £1.44m and record fines of £1.97m. The increase in these figures reflects HMRC’s investment in its NMW enforcement activity over the past 18 months.

Reward & Employment Time to get ready for the journey ahead

The whiff of change is in the air for any business that relies on the use of a flexible workforce, whether self-employed or through a personal service company (PSC). As well as HMRC’s increased focus on National Minimum Wage (NMW) compliance, Government scrutiny and recent high-profile legal cases on worker status have brought the issue to the fore and momentum will only build in the months to come. Now is the time for businesses to act to understand the potential risks they face and how they can best be managed ahead of changes taking effect.

Off-payroll working in the private sector - change is on the way

The long anticipated consultation on the reform of rules governing off-payroll working in the private sector, often referred to as IR35, has now been published. In addition, the Government has published the findings from an independent research project that looked at the immediate impacts on public sector bodies of implementing the reform of off-payroll working in the public sector.

Seminar: "Good Work" - the future of employment status in the UK

The Government announced in February its response to the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices by issuing four consultations on the concept of what "Good Work". One of these consultations focuses on employment status, which could lead to fundamental changes to the employment landscape and the engagement of contractors. To support businesses in thinking through the impact of the employment status consultation on their plans to achieve an agile and flexible workforce, and provide a forum to give their views, we are hosting a roundtable discussion session in London.

National Minimum Wage – Common errors leading to non-compliance

In 2017 we saw unprecedented media attention around National Minimum Wage (NMW) compliance. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) which enforces the NMW regulations published the 13th list of NMW offenders in December, identifying 260 employers required to pay back £1.7 million to workers and £1.3 million in penalties. ‘Naming and shaming’ is automatic for any employer found to owe underpayments to workers of £100 or more in total...