3 Employment cases which could affect your business sooner than you think

Dispute Resolution

Employment - 2 minutes read

EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Aslam and others v Uber BV and othersĀ 

Excel, CitySprint, Addison Less, eCourier and Hermes have all fallen foul of the “call a spade a spade” phenomenon where ‘independent contractors’ from across the land have sought ‘worker’ status.

Aslam and others v Uber BV and others was the employment tribunal snow flake that turned the boulder into an avalanche of Ā of commentary amongst the profession….and businesses.

Why business too? Because these claims are being seen as ‘test cases’, and more business (like those above) may end up before employment tribunals on this issue sooner than their employment/contractual model may have provided.

The employment tribunal rapidly decided that the Uber drivers are in fact workers rather than self-employed. The effect being that they are entitled to received greater employment rights such as the national minimum wage and paid annual leave.

The issue is now expected to go to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL FEES: R(on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor and another (Supreme Court)

This case is one which I (and I am sure most employment legal professionals) am rooting for.

July 2013 saw the introduction of workers in the UK being charged a fee to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal; a further fee if the claim is heard and a further fee if they want to appeal that decision.

Unison sought unsuccessfully to have the employment tribunal fees ruled unlawful when the fees were introduced.Ā 

The Court of Appeal rejected their appeal on the basis that there was insufficient evidence of claimant’s inability to afford the fees.

Perhaps the evidence which shows that the introduction of the fees has caused an over 70% drop in claims brought will be sufficient for the Supreme Court.

Unison’s appeal is expected to be heard in March 2017.

HOLIDAY PAY: British Gas Trading Ltd v Lock and another (Supreme Court)

Most employers would not have appreciated the Court of Appeal decision in October 2016 when it accepted that the Working Time Regulations can be construed to require the inclusion of commission of holiday pay.

Unsurprisingly, British Gas have appealed to the Supreme Court. Why so quickly? The 1,000 similar claims waiting in the wings may have something to do with it.

A date for the Supreme Court hearing has not been provided yet, although given the serious financial implications for employers across the country, it is likely to be fast-tracked and heard rather soon.