How should businesses treat employees in the ‘gig economy’?

Fri 28th Oct 2016

Philip Sayers at Coodes Solicitors examines the ‘gig economy’ and what it means for employers. “The phrase ‘gig economy’ is suddenly becoming widely used. It is a fairly broad term that covers short-term, ad hoc and casual working arrangements. It’s becoming a hot topic – an employment tribunal in London on the rights of drivers for cab-hailing firm Uber is making the headlines and MPS have just launched an inquiry into UK working conditions, focusing on the treatment of casual employees in the gig economy.

“For businesses, there are legal issues around whether the staff they employ are self-employed or in fact employees, with the rights and benefits that come with being that status. If staff are in fact legally classed as employees, they should be paid the National Living Wage as well as being eligible for holiday pay. High profile cases such as the investigation of Hermes and its treatment of delivery workers and the Uber employment tribunal, illustrate how the confusion over the legal status of employees can impact on a business and its staff.

“Even if staff are legally classed as self-employed, businesses need to adhere to a range of laws relating to their welfare, including health and safety and data protection legislation.

“Despite the fact that it refers to casual employment, work carried out in the gig economy is the main source of income for many people. Employers should think very carefully about how they look after staff, whether they are employees or self-employed.”

For more information on this or any Employment enquiries contact Philip Sayers on 0800 328 3282 or

Fri 28th Oct 2016

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