The Gig Economy: An Update


If you haven’t heard about the recent ‘Gig economy’ cases hitting the Tribunal in recent months then where have you been?! At the tail end of last year taxi app firm Uber lost a landmark case involving two of its drivers; who an employment judge said must be classed as workers and as such be afforded with employment rights of workers. Uber is appealing this decision and has refused so far to make changes to its terms for drivers. Meanwhile, riders at Deliveroo are seeking union recognition to bargain for pay and conditions and are threatening tribunal action if the company refuses, says the BBC.

Added to this was the case against City Sprint, which was decided on Friday (6th January 2017). Maggie Dewhurst, a London bicycle courier working for delivery firm CitySprint, won her claim regarding her right to be classed as a worker. This means that she has the right to both paid holidays and minimum pay in a key ruling by the central London employment tribunal.

Such rulings are said to have key implications for the gig economy, where temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. It comes at a time when the pressure is growing on many companies operating in the gig economy such as Hermes and Deliveroo to treat workers more fairly and offer basic employment benefits.

The delivery firm which has 42 days to lodge an appeal asked the government to provide further clarity on employment rules.

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