The Gig Economy is Crumbling, Case by Case

Dispute Resolution - 1 minute read

Another one bites the dust.

Pimlico Plumbers were the next employers to have been taken to the Employment Tribunal (ET) over the status of its workers. 

The Court of Appeal (CA) rejected an appeal lodged by PP who argued that plumber Gary Smith, who worked for PP was an independent contractor rather than a worker or employee.

Following the likes of Uber and Deliveroo, more employers are coming under fire for purporting to take advantage of their workers. One of the ideas discussed is flipping around the burden of proof; placing it on the employers to be the ones to prove that the workers are not full employees.

It would be difficult to fall on the hard line of this argument and state that all such companies are simply trying to take advantage of their workers. The legal framework surrounding employment and self-employment is in dire need of re-examination. Technology is changing, and flexibility between work and life is not what it used to be either.

Of course, we have to be cautious not to be in danger of using growing technology and advances as a code word for by passing employment law rights.

The UK’s department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: 'We are determined to make sure our employment rules keep up to date to reflect new ways of working, and that’s why the government asked Matthew Taylor to conduct an independent review into modern working practices.”