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Ministers release guidance to clarify UK employment status case law

If I had a pound for every employment status query I’d had in the past 3 – 4 years then I would probably be able to retire now!  But, here we are, and we were eagerly awaiting the UK Government to publish some helpful guidance on how to distinguish between the different statuses (self-employed, worker and employee) which determine rights on areas such as pay and leave.

The new guidance doesn’t set a prescribed formula for determining the category someone falls into, instead, it brings together employment status case law into one place for businesses and workers to access and improve their understanding.  Not quite what we were hoping for, but still helpful nonetheless.

Further, the guidance has clarified the rights of gig economy workers, which has seen a boom in recent years as flexibility with work becomes more and more popular.  There have been significant cases in this area recently; Pimlico Plumbers and Uber to name a couple.

The guidance was published alongside an employment status consultation, in which some respondents asked for clarity around the employment status boundaries, and examples of how to apply the rules to different scenarios.  The unfortunate thing is the lack of set rules – there are tests which are established in case law and different factors will affect the outcome.

No legislation changes have been made, so perhaps this is the next area, as these flexible working models are bound to become more and more popular with time.

We’ll all have to watch this space!

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