The gig-economy has been dominating the legal spotlight for a long time now, and it doesn’t seem to be changing.
A window salesman worked for a company on a self-employed basis for twelve years. Upon his dismissal, he raised a claim for £27,000 in unpaid holiday over the duration of his ‘employment’ after it was found that he had been ‘miscategorised’ and was in fact entitled to workers’ rights (in this case holiday entitlement).
As cases such as Uber and Deliveroo have shown, the categorisation of someone working in the gig-economy as self-employed is becoming less clear-cut. This leaves companies that operate in the gig-economy potentially liable to claims involving minimum-wage, holiday entitlement or sickness pay.
The case of the window salesman shows how difficult it is to distinguish between self-employed and a worker in this gig-economy. The judgement, which is being taken to an Appeal Tribunal, has been labelled as a ‘bombshell’ and a ‘game changer’ for the gig-economy.