Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, a key theme of 2020 has been diversity and inclusivity. This two-part update addresses this theme in detail
There has been a steady trickle, not quite a stream, as this new economy and its raft of rights are forged. We still await any changes following the Taylor Review, the Government is a little distracted at the moment!
- Tribunals and courts are looking beyond what is agreed between parties;
- Personal performance still key; this can be proved by the wording of documentation (Pimlico Plumbers and Mullins v Smith), and demonstrating that safeguarding checks are made against individuals (Addison Lee v Gasgoine);
- Commercial reality wins out; Uber AV v Aslam (on appeal): the drivers across the city were not all small business people as Uber asserted (such as Pimlico Plumbers and Mullins v Smith). Individuals cannot be clients nor customers if using employer branded equipment and vehicles;
The latest case involves the unlucky company of Addison Lee who appeared in an earlier ebriefing – Worker status: A tsunami of gig-economy claims. Mr Gasgoine, in the earlier case, was a cycle courier but Mr Lange, in this latest case, was a private-hire driver and hired liveried cars from a company associated with Addison Lee (Addison Lee v Lange & Ors). The general themes noticed above were again in evidence in the EAT’s judgement.
- The wording of the agreement where the drivers were deemed ‘independent contractors’ was set aside;
- The practicalities of the agreement – the drivers had to log onto a centralised booking system, give reasons they did not accept a booking and could be sanctioned if they didn’t accept bookings – were key to the judgement.
The only case that has bucked this trend and decided that individuals were not workers has been that of Independent Workers Union of Great Britain v RooFoods Ltd (t/a Deliveroo) TUR1/985(2016). This was before the Central Arbitration Committee, so there is a query as to whether it is binding in the Tribunal. That said, the principles are the same when applied.
- Personal performance was not required – substitution was permitted and importantly did occur in practice;
- There were no sanctions if individuals did not pick up a job
There is, we fear, little more to be said at this time as we await the Taylor Review and the judgement from the Court of Appeal in the case of Uber BV v Aslam.
Covid-19 has resulted, on the whole, in a marked co-operation between contracting authorities and their suppliers as everybody focuses on maintaining delivery as far as possible.
Employment Tribunal rules in favour of claimants in minimum wage case – has the interpretation of “working time” changed?
As we enter a recession, we have been here before, and a key question is what did we learn and how can we benefit from that learning?
It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
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