Uber decision must not discourage firms from engaging the self-employed

IPSE has responded to today’s (28 October) decision by the Central London Employment Tribunal to recognise Uber drivers as workers, not as self-employed.

Chris Bryce, IPSE Chief Executive, said: “Today’s decision gives Uber drivers clarity around their relationship with Uber, subject to Uber’s intended appeal. As far as IPSE is concerned self-employment means you’re in control, and that must remain a positive choice. If companies want to control exactly how or when their workers do the actual work, they must not shirk their responsibility to provide employment protections and pay their employer’s National Insurance Contributions too. If they want to engage workers on a freelance basis, then they must be business-like in that relationship.

“We will be studying the full judgement carefully to consider its implications, but this ruling may have an impact on the wider gig economy. The recently launched review of employment practices takes on even greater urgency and importance in light of today’s ruling.

“However, Government must be careful not to dissuade firms from making use of the highly-skilled, on-demand flexible workforce as a whole. The vast majority of people who work this way made an active choice to do so and cherish their self-employed status. Research shows independent professionals innovate faster than any other group, and brought £109 billion to the UK economy in 2015.” 

Policy

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