Whilst Über may be appealing the tribunal decision, this case demonstrates the fine line between self-employment and being on the payroll as an employee. The authorities are already concerned about employers flouting the law by classing workers as ‘self-employed’, to escape legislation such as Workplace Pensions, so the spotlight is likely to fall on the ‘gig economy’ to a far greater degree. If your demonstration of why a worker is self-employed isn’t convincing enough, you too could be in trouble.
The fact is that you need to be very clear where your obligations to your workers lie. However, when it comes to health and safety legislation, you need to not only be keeping your employees safe, but also protecting your ‘self-employed’ workers and the general public. You have a duty of care over all, not just some.
There may also be ‘extras’ that some employees receive under health and safety legislation that you do not extend to other workers, eye tests being a good example. Should you actually be offering these to all your workers?
Gauntlet can help you focus on these issues when it comes to both safety on the road, and health and safety back in the depot and the office. Knowing what the law expects of you can become much clearer when you have an expert visit you and explain the legislation to you.
Some courier firms are already falling under investigation following the Über ruling. Don’t be caught out by not focusing on your workers in the right way, or by wrongly assuming that those with what you regard as ‘employee’ status are the only ones with rights.
If you need more guidance on this issue, please call 0113 244 8686, email AndrewScott@GauntletGroup.com, or have a live chat at www.gauntlethealthandsafety.com