Last week Addison Lee lost its Employment Tribunal appeal against the decision that its London based drivers were workers rather than engaged under fully self-employed arrangements.

The issue that comes mostly to mind from this result (apart from the hysterical and inaccurate reporting of the case by the press) is, frankly, what else could we expect?

Let’s take a more measured view. It can’t be any surprise that, since the removal of fees for tribunals, there has been around a 120% increase in employment rights cases coming before the courts.

And on the back of the Amazon, Deliveroo, Hermes and Uber cases (the appeal for which was heard at the High Court on the 31st October, and we await the judgement) it’s hardly revolutionary news that another App based transport related business model fails the test in court.

And this is the real story. It is of significant note that one of the key recommendations of last years Taylor Review into employment and the gig economy expressly recommended that all App or platform based engagements should in future be automatically considered as a of worker, (albeit a re-named version) rather than as a fully self-employed arrangement. It just appears to me that the employment tribunal services have simply taken the lead in the implementation of this policy, before it actually becomes law!

There is good news for the construction industry!

The good news is that as of yet there has been little crossover into other industries with a better established history and understanding of self-employment, and the key to protecting yourself in the future will be to ensure that you use expertly drafted contracts and systems that accurately reflect the reality of your arrangements. And you could do a lot worse than engage a company with seventeen years experience, who have never lost a case or tax investigation, to ensure you are compliant. A company that offers a comprehensive guarantee for it’s services. A company like EEBS perhaps?

Engage your contractors through EEBS contact for details.