New Employment Status and Rights In The UK

freelancers working round a coffee tableA key employment case against taxi app company ‘Uber’ has resulted in their claims of their drivers being ‘self-employed’ being rejected, with Uber drivers now being classed as ‘workers’ as opposed to self-employed.

But what does this new employment status mean, what are rights are workers entitled to and what is the so-called ‘gig economy’ – find out in our blog, with a handy infographic showing the rights of employees, workers and the self-employed in the UK.

‘Workers’ Rights Compared To The Self Employed

Before the ruling, those working for Uber would be classed as self-employed, meaning they weren’t entitled to many things that they would not have been entitled to when classed as self-employed, this caused concern amongst their drivers as workers did not have any rights and could be working full time and earning a lot less than minimum wage.

The new status of employment entitles workers to rights including:

  • Workers have the right to be paid the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage as applicable.
  • Workers are entitled to holiday and sick pay. Additionally, a limited number of workers are also entitled to maternity leave pay including company directors, crown servants and agency workers.
  • Workers have protection from unlawful discrimination and deductions from wages.
  • Workers have whistleblower protections, meaning they can report any wrongdoings from their employee and not be treated unfairly following this.

Despite not being classed as self-employed, workers will still be required to submit an annual self-assessment return.

What Is The Gig Economy?

The ‘gig economy’ is a term coined to describe a labour market whereby there is a larger number of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.

Whilst this works well for some workers, for example, students who do not wish to be tied into employment – it can cause concerns when companies take advantage of the system to give their employees no rights because they are labelled as ‘self-employed’ or ‘partners’.

Companies who’s employees fall in the ‘gig economy’ include Deliveroo, Pimlico Plumbers and Uber who recently lost their case at an employment tribunal in London.

Check out the infographic below to find out more about the rights of Employees, Workers and the Self-Employed in the UK.