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Status of workers

02 April 2019 / Alastair Kendrick
Issue: 4690 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
The worker revolution

Recent years have seen several cases brought before the employment courts in which those engaged on a self-employed basis by a particular engager have claimed to be a worker. Generally these cases have been supported by a trade union that wants the individual worker to have rights they would not enjoy on a self-employed contract. The decision of the Employment Tribunal in the Hermes case (Ms E Leyland and others v Hermes Parcelnet Ltd – tinyurl.com/y3jhujfq) follows similar judgments on companies such as Uber Addison Lee and Pimlico Plumbers which found in favour of the individual worker. Although the headlines implied a special deal had been struck for those working at Hermes this appears to be merely an acceptance that they would move from self-employed to worker status and consequently qualify for additional benefits.

The basic concept

For many the concept of a ‘worker’ is difficult to grasp...

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