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Keeping up to date

We take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date so that you can use changes in employment law to commercial advantage. By understanding and interpreting the latest case law and legislation we can deliver updates to you that are concise and usable. With imagination, we are able to ensure that developing law can be used to allow you to achieve commercial solutions, cost effectively and expediently.

Why employment status matters

Posted on: March 2nd, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

The Supreme Court’s judgement clearly sets out why Uber drivers are in fact workers and not self-employed. Below is our take on taxis and tests for employment status:

Decision –‘keeping it real’ has never been so important. The Court made it clear that the reality of the arrangement trumps what is written in any agreement or contract – if there’s inconsistency between the terms agreed and the practical arrangement, it’s the latter that the Court will consider.

Uber’s reality – Uber’s tight control over when and how work was done, the reliance on Uber to provide drivers with work, and drivers’ inability to influence Uber’s terms of work all indicated worker status.

Consequences – in Uber’s case all of this meant that instead of working with self-employed individuals (without rights to National Minimum Wage and holidays), Uber are responsible for ensuring that drivers have no less than statutory minimum pay, time off, and holiday, all at Uber’s cost.

Proactive steps – if you engage individuals on a self-employed basis, now (following this decision and the impending IR35 changes) is a great time to audit those arrangements and give yourself the opportunity to address any anomalies or potential risks. You’ll find more detail in our latest updates in this area.

Get in touch if you need support with consultants and understanding employment status.


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (2 March 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.