Millions of freelancers, hired by companies instead of full-time employees to work in what has become known as the ‘Gig Economy’, will be entitled to holiday and sick pay under new Government plans to address modern workers' rights.
In an effort to embrace modern ways of working, including the increasingly populated ‘Gig Economy’ (so called because people are paid for each ‘gig’ that they do,) the Government has announced new proposals to protect the interests of workers in this new sector.
In response to calls last summer from the Matthew Taylor Review to properly reward all work, the Department of Business has revealed its plans to enforce holiday and sick pay and introduce the right for all workers to request a more stable contract that will provide more financial security.
The proposals also include:
- defining ‘working time’ for flexible workers who find jobs through apps or online so they know when they should be being paid.
- asking the Low Pay Commission to consider higher minimum wage rates for workers on zero-hour contracts.
- quadrupling employment tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000
The proposed measures have been designed to cultivate a responsibility and care for staff in companies such as Deliveroo, Uber and couriers including Yodel and Hermes, who benefit from the flexibility and savings the Gig Economy can offer employers.
However, unions have said the Government's proposed measures aren’t anywhere near as effective as needed with Britain’s General Union, the GMB, likening them to ‘trying to put out a forest fire with a water pistol’ and the TUC saying the Government has taken a ‘baby step, when it needed to take a giant leap’.
‘With increasing pressure on the Government to protect workers in the Gig Economy from possible exploitation, these recommendations were to be expected,’ says Sue Ball, Head of Employment at Verisona Law. ‘As to whether they reach far enough, we shall have to see them passed into law and put into practice before judgements can be made.’
Here are the types of cases we handle:
- Contracts of Employment
- Employer Staff Handbooks
- Redundancy Process
- Breach of Contract
- Breach of Restrictive Covenants
- Tribunal Claims
- Settlement Agreements
- Consultancy Agreements
Sports and Football Law
- Contracts of Employment
- Service Agreements
- Contractual Issues
- Executive Departures
"Over the years, I have developed a great trust in my working relationship with Mike Dyer, Head of Commercial Law at Verisona. One of the things I value most is that he is always at the end of a phone. On the rare occasions he is unavailable, his secretary is always well informed and very helpful. Through Mike, I have met many other members of Verisona and, just like in the recruitment industry, they understand the importance of being treated like an individual. They make me feel valued and important to both them and their business. At Verisona, you always deal with real people who you know and are in a position to help. Most importantly, Verisona delivers. We recently had an urgent situation regarding the restrictive covenants of new members of staff. Employment specialist Susan Ball came in on a day off to listen to us, dissect and analyse the situation, and translate what we wanted to achieve into the best possible legal language and solution. This is just one example of the calm, efficient professionalism I have come to value from Verisona over the years. Verisona has a refreshing approach to the law. They are there when we need them, always easy to talk to, go out of their way to make sure that we understand what they are doing for us and why, and always get the best results".
Legally enforcing the tribunal award
To enforce the Tribunal award we applied to the Defendant’s local County Court for it to be registered and for permission to enforce the award.
The Court granted the application and on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. As a result the Tribunal award would appear as a County Court Judgment which would likely affect the Defendant’s credit rating.
Time limits for enforcing Tribunal awards
It is worth noting that there is no time restriction for registering or enforcing a Tribunal award. You can enforce one even if it is several years old. In addition, it is usually possible to claim interest on the amount until you receive payment.
A commercial business
"Thanks for all your help on this - you've been so helpful to me in guiding and explaining everything, so just to say thank you for obviously helping represent my case but also allowing me to understand the process and giving me greater awareness of what I need to be mindful of when signing future contracts".
Former employee of professional football club
Sue was easy to deal with and offered all options available. Jane was in contact beforehand to tell me what information was needed and Sue was prepared for our meeting. I cannot praise Sue and Jane enough and would have absolutely no hesitation in reommending Sue and her team.