The issue of the gig economy has featured very prominently media coverage of the last few months. Cases involving Uber drivers, cycle couriers and plumbers have received national media coverage. Cases involving what is known as employment status can be very complex and therefore difficult to follow. It may be worthwhile setting out the three main categories into which people are likely to fall when carrying out work for others.
Someone with employee status is entitled to a number of very important protections, which are not available to workers or self-employed people, including the right to receive a written statement setting out their main terms and conditions, the right to a minimum period of notice, the right not to be unfairly dismissed and the right to receive a redundancy payment
Someone who is a worker has fewer rights than an employee, but is still entitled to a number of important protections. These include the right to receive payment of the national minimum wage, maximum working hours and minimum rest periods. A worker is also likely to enjoy full protection against discrimination.
Those who are neither employees nor workers are likely to be self-employed. Someone who is self-employed can enjoy more favourable tax treatment, which can make it attractive from a financial point of view. However, the self-employed enjoy the fewest number of rights, while at work. What rights they enjoy are likely to be contained in the contract between the parties.
If you have any concerns as to your status or the status of anyone working for you, it may helpful to get advice at any early stage in order to avoid difficulties further down the line.