4 November 2016 by

Uber and British Gas…Worker and employee rights – what next?

Commission and Holiday pay

After much uncertainty, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that holiday pay should include basic pay and elements of results-based commission.

Workers have the right to have an amount included in their holiday pay to reflect the commission that they have been unable to earn by virtue of being on holiday. Some employers have, so far, refrained from making a decision on what to include and whilst we understand why, the decision can be delayed no more!

The manufacturers’ organisation EEF estimates that an SME in the manufacturing sector with a £30 million annual turnover could expect to get a potential bill of £2.75 million.

What next?

The Lock v British Gas case has been sent back to the tribunal for a decision on how the holiday pay should be calculated. Of particular interest will be the period that will be used for calculation of holiday pay. Guidance is still a long way off – this is a long process that we haven’t heard the last of yet!

There are, of course, still unanswered questions that bring about some uncertainty:

  • Will British Gas be granted permission to appeal?
  • What other types of bonuses should be taken into account?
  • How would the calculation work in practice?

Despite these questions if your business operates results-based commission or other similar schemes, now may be the time to review your current practices.

The UBER Judgment

Uber drivers are ‘workers’ and not self-employed, an Employment Tribunal has recently decided in a landmark case which could affect tens of thousands of workers.

Whilst ‘workers’ are not entitled to the full rights that an ‘employee’ is entitled to; Uber and other similar companies, will need to review their contracts in order to ensure compliance.

Uber drivers, and other like workers, will be entitled to:-

  • 5-6 weeks’ paid annual leave each year;
  • a maximum 48 hour working week;
  • rest breaks;
  • the National Minimum and Living Wage; and
  • protection from whistleblowing legislation

Notably, they have not been defined as ‘employees’, so will not be entitled to:-

  • unfair dismissal;
  • statutory redundancy payment;
  • the benefit of the implied term of trust and confidence; or
  • protection on the transfer of a business

Of course, Uber have immediately announced that they will appeal the ruling, claiming many of their drivers do not want to be classified as ‘workers’.

What next?

This ruling is likely to affect many companies with modern business models such as Deliveroo and Airbnb, so whilst this case is far from over, if your business operates similarly, we would suggest you take a look at your current contracts.

For advice on workers’ rights and how these judgments impact you and your business please contact one of our solicitors in the Employment team here.

26 October 2016 by

Open Letter to the Royal Bank of Scotland, The FCA, and HM Treasury

Please see our open letter of 26 October 2016 on issues relating to the actions of the Global Restructuring Group at […]

27 October 2016 by

Having trouble squeezing payment from a big business? The playing field might just be levelling out

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (‘BEIS’) has recently opened consultation on ways in which the Small Business […]

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