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Employment Status

The growth of the “gig economy”, the demands of the millennials for greater flexibility, the tax and national insurance benefits of self-employment and Government reviews of employment status have brought the issue of employment status to the forefront of many employers’ minds.

With extensive experience of the complex issues involved, our employment and employment tax lawyers can guide businesses through this tricky area and help workforces plan for the challenges of the 21st Century or defend themselves from challenges whether from unions, their workforce or HMRC.

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A community blog and resource site to help employers prepare for the future.

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Holiday pay for part-year workers should not be pro-rated

21 July 2022

The Supreme Court has ruled that the paid holiday entitlement of part-year workers should not be pro-rated for the weeks they do not usually work. This means that the 12.07% method for calculating the holiday pay hours of casual workers on permanent contracts is no longer a valid approach.

Signing contracts

Court of appeal decision gives comfort on employment status for tax purposes

26 May 2022

The Court of Appeal has held that when determining employment status of an individual for tax purposes the contractual terms should not be disregarded unless they are unrealistic. This decision offers some comfort to businesses which engage self-employed contractors, including those in the gig economy.

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A requirement to offer or accept a minimum amount of work is not a prerequisite of worker status, says the Court of Appeal

10 March 2022

In this latest employment status case, the Court of Appeal considered if an individual can be a worker without there being any commitment to offer or accept a minimum amount of work. The Court concluded that such a commitment is not a requirement of worker status and that a panel committee member was, therefore, a worker entitled to paid holidays.

Contract breaking up is never easy

Consultation on banded hours contracts and enhanced rights for zero-hour workers in Northern Ireland

28 February 2022

The Northern Ireland Assembly is consulting on proposed legislation to enhance the statutory protections for zero-hours workers, including call-out payments, banning exclusivity clauses and introducing the right to request a “banded hours” contract. Consultation closes on 4 March 2022.


Agency workers and the right to be informed of vacancies

22 February 2022

Agency workers must be informed of relevant vacancies with the hiring business but have no right to be considered for those vacancies on the same terms as the hirer’s direct recruits, according to a new Court of Appeal ruling.


Pimlico Plumbers part two - compensation for unpaid holiday throughout engagement

02 February 2022

In a decision with major implications across the gig economy and beyond, the Court of Appeal has ruled that workers who were incorrectly classified as independent contractors and were not paid for holiday can claim compensation for the whole period of their engagement.


European Commission issues draft “platform worker” legislation

10 December 2021

The European Commission has released draft legislation to reform conditions for platform economy workers in the EU. The centrepiece is a proposal to create a “rebuttable presumption” of employed status if persons working via platforms fulfil at least two of five criteria. The EU would also require greater human involvement where algorithms are used to make management decisions.

Football referees employees not self-employed, says Court of Appeal

07 October 2021

The Court of Appeal has allowed HM Revenue & Customs’ appeal against a decision that there was insufficient mutuality of obligation and control for football referees to be treated as employees for tax purposes.

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