Supreme Court Gig Economy Case

Commenting on today’s Supreme Court ruling that a plumber can be classed as a worker rather than as self-employed, Cath Sermon, Employment Director at Business in the Community, said:
 
“As this case shows, there is still a long way to go on ensuring that good work is available to everyone. In particular, it highlights the need for business leaders to examine how they design and decide on business models. Placing responsible employment practices at the heart of their business model, rather than as an afterthought, will help to enable all employees to thrive in jobs where they earn a fair wage, have rights and security, opportunities to develop and a support environment.
 
This case also highlights issues around flexible working. We know that many employees want to work flexibly for a variety of reasons, including managing long-term health conditions. While this type of employment can benefit people who may not want to work full-time or be unable to do so, this should not be an excuse to neglect employees’ rights. The desire for flexible working is only going to increase – 92% of millennials take flexibility into account when job hunting*, whilst older people are working longer but may want to work fewer hours, possibly due to health issues or caring responsibilities. That’s why it’s vital for employers to embrace flexible working in a way that meets the needs of both the business and the workforce, and we encourage employers to do more to develop these types of organisational culture.
 
Good work is not just about pay – it also includes issues such as contracts, benefits and rewards, job security and job design, particularly for lower-paid and less senior employees. Research shows that one in eight workers live in poverty and that job quality, employee health and wellbeing, engagement and productivity are closely linked, meaning it’s in employers’ interests to improve their employees’ working lives. We are working with employers to address these issues as part of our Good Work for All initiative and we strongly urge more organisations to take practical steps which improve the situation for their lowest-paid employees.”
 
*Source: ​Timewise