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Are your drivers Self-employed?

Do you provide drivers with ‘regular’ work but don’t employ them?

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If you have answered yes to either of the above, then the recent tribunal case hearing regarding Uber Taxi drivers should be giving you cause for concern!

The legal action alleged that Uber failed to ensure its drivers were paid the minimum wage and that they failed to receive the minimum amount of paid holiday.  The company has always maintained that their drivers were self-employed contractors rather than permanent employees, which means they are entitled to different benefits.  But the tribunal hearing ruled in favour of the drivers, stating they are in fact employees, rather than contractors.

Uber now faces having to fund costly benefits for its drivers such as holiday pay, sick pay and pension contributions.  In a statement, the Company’s regional General Manager, Jo Bertram, said their business model allows people to “be their own boss” by deciding when they work and how long they work for – a model the firm believes has been key in attracting people to work for them.

But the lawyers representing two of the drivers in the case argued that the terms & conditions of their work meant they should be classed as employees.  One driver said he had been put under tremendous pressure by Uber to work long hours and accept fares, with ‘repercussions’ from the company if he cancelled pick-up requests.

The Legal Director of the GMB Trade Union stated, “This will have a hugely positive impact on over 30,000 drivers in London and across England and Wales, and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife”.  The court ruling only applies to the two drivers that have decided to take actions against Uber, but many more drivers are expected to come forward with new claims in light of the recent result.  In addition, the workers may be able to claim missed holiday pay and back payments for any work which fell below the minimum wage rate – something which could end up costing Uber a significant sum of money to correct.

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But what does this mean for your business?

– If your business relies on self-employed drivers, then you may have to review the terms by which you pay them, and ultimately employ them

– You may have to ensure that regular drivers receive monetary benefits such as sick pay & holiday pay – these will have to meet the minimum statutory levels

– You will need to consider ‘employing’ staff, and therefore ensure your contracts of employment are legal yet flexible to fit your business needs.

– Once you reach a company with a certain level of employees, you will have additional legal parameters you have to abide by in respect of employment law.  Failing to abide by these could result in penalties and fines for your business.

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If you would like the opportunity to discuss these issues further then get in touch to arrange an initial HR consultation with one of our experts.  The first 30 minutes are complimentary, and should enable you to understand how your business may be affected by the recent ruling, and what actions you could take to reduce your business risk.  We can assist you in developing bespoke contracts, flexible for your business, and legally compliant, as well as provide you with ongoing expert HR support via our flexible HR Support Packages.  Alternatively, if you are a smaller business looking for that initial support in setting up your HR elements then take a look at our current HR Hamper offer giving you access to the fundamental elements to ensure your business is compliant.  Some of our new clients have been thrilled with the value this has offered to their business – so take a look today!  We look forward to working with you in growing your business.

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Grade you business today!

This application provides a FREE report on the health of your business from an HR perspective. Click HERE to get started

Once completed, you will receive two feedback reports detailing the areas of your business that maybe at potential risk. The answers to the questions you clicked NO to will be shown. These are for guidance purposes.  You will also receive your Business Health Check Scores

You will receive two scores:

  • For questions in the business critical section you will receive a score based on your answers relating to business critical HR processes
  • For questions in the business health check section you will receive a score based on your answers relating to non business critical HR processes

 

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