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Gig Economy Update

Gig Economy Update

Disputes over the status of gig economy workers continue apace, with many claims ongoing and pending. Our previous gig economy updates are available here, here and here.

Addison Lee

On 25 September, an Employment Tribunal in London found that 3 Addison Lee drivers were workers, having previously been classified as self-employed. Our analysis of the decision is available here. A core component of the ET’s decision was their finding that that Addison Lee and drivers had a “symbiotic relationship” as once the drivers logged into the former’s platform, the commercial reality was that they had to accept jobs.

Uber

Uber’s appeal against the Employment Tribunal’s decision that several of it drivers were workers (see our analysis of the Employment Tribunal decision here) took place before the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) from 27-28 September.

Other claims

By our reckoning, at least 6 claims have been lodged before the Employment Tribunal with more waiting in the wings. In addition, Pimlico Plumbers is on appeal to the Supreme Court following the Court of Appeal’s finding of worker status in February. The Supreme Court is due to hear the case in February 2018.

This is likely to remain a highly contentious area for some time. While there have been hopes of some legislative guidance, this seems increasingly unlikely in the immediate term given that the government’s attentions are focused on Brexit. All eyes will be on the Supreme Court to offer some essential clarity in this area.