Keen readers of Workplace Law will have noticed the many new cases we’ve been writing about relate to employment status and the rapidly emerging ‘gig’ economy.
One of the most recent cases involved drivers engaged by a partnership providing haulage services to construction companies. The partnership argued that these drivers were self employed and therefore responsible for paying their own tax. HMRC took a different stance. The reality of the working relationship was that the partnership dictated the terms of the relationship and there was no real evidence that the drivers were running their own business.
The drivers should have been classified employees, and HMRC should have been paid £240k by the partnership as a result.
With such huge sums at stake, it’s no surprise that HMRC are increasingly challenging arrangements which are labelled employed-contracts, sub-contractor contracts or self-employed service provider arrangements. And so, this month, the government launched an online tool to help assess the true nature of an individual’s employment status for tax purposes.
Following similar employment law cases with companies like Uber and Citysprint, it looks increasingly more difficult for drivers to be classified as self employed.
If you are a business and need advice on the status of your staff, please email firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to assist.