The Uber decision
Last week a UK employment tribunal case came down on the side of a group of Uber drivers. It said that they qualified as "workers" and should receive certain protections and benefits.
The decision has received a lot of press attention. But Mills & Reeve employment expert Andrew Secker points out that it is only a first instance decision and may be reversed on appeal.
The growth of the gig economy
A recent report by McKinsey Global Institute found that up to 30% of working-age people in Europe and the US engage in some form of independent work. While digital platforms are currently only used by a minority of these people, it is becoming increasingly important. As this kind of work pattern expands the questions around employment rights come into sharp focus.
So what does this case mean for the gig economy?
Considering the implications of the Uber case for the wider gig economy, Andrew explains:
"The Uber case does not create any new law nor is it particularly radical. It applied old law to a new employment model.
It does highlight that those in the gig economy using individuals to personally deliver a service (be it transport services like Uber, a delivery or courier service or cleaning service) may be engaging workers if they exercise too much control over the way the services are delivered. This is more worrying as the quality assurance and consumer experience helps differential some businesses in the gig economy from more traditional services.
This is not likely to affect those introducing parties (Trusted Trader, Airbnb, eBay) using an online platform, where individual providing the product or service have more control and take more risk."
Read Andrew's full analysis here.