According to the Office of National Statistics, about 15% of the UK workforce is “independent”. We have, as we are told, a “Gig Economy” – no longer workers, but self-employed, independent entrepreneurs who come to look for “concerts” to work, when and where they are suitable. But as Uber told the labour court`s decision that its drivers were “workers” while fighting for its Transport for London driver`s license, we thought it was time to look at the status of employment, the differences between workers, workers and the self-employed – and the issue of “control.” The status of employment, whether employees, employees or self-employed, has an impact on the rights and benefits that the organisation of work must provide. It determines the protection that a person working for an organization can count on. It also determines the control that the organization can exert over the individual. A worker has the benefits of all labour rights, but is subject to the highest control of his employer. The “worker” has fewer employment rights, but more autonomy. The employer is not required to offer work and the worker is not required to accept an offered job, whereas the employer must pay after work and the worker must perform the work or provide services on a personal basis, with very few opportunities to sublet. Workers are still entitled to certain rights and protections – for example, the national minimum wage (or minimum wage), but do not benefit in the full areas of employment protection. The self-employed person is not subject to any control by the organization for which he or she works. He or she is free to accept the work and will work under a service contract to complete the work. There will be agreement on what needs to be made available and terms of delivery and payment, but no control element. It is essential that the self-employed do not have employment protection.
The Uber BV et al. case against Aslam and other UKSC 2019/0029 were tried by the Supreme Court on 21 and 22 July. The hearing revived many ongoing discussions on the large number of grey areas that remain under the status of employment.