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New guidance: Acas updates guidance on employment status to help 'gig economy' employers

Employers will welcome updated Acas guidance on the status of different types of employee and worker, following various recent rulings that purported self-employed contractors working in the 'gig economy' can in fact be 'workers' and entitled to basic employment rights.

Legal Alert

This update was published in Legal Alert - April 2017

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

The phrase 'gig economy' refers to work (often individual tasks) carried out under short-term contracts, or as a freelancer, as opposed to permanent jobs carried out by employees.

The updated Acas guidance, Employment status, aims to provide clarity on the different ways people can work, and the employment rights to which they are entitled. The section on those working as self-employed contractors or through 'umbrella' companies has been expanded in the light of recent legal rulings relating to Uber drivers, bicycle couriers and plumbers working in the gig economy. In all these cases, those taken on as self-employed contractors with no employment rights were in fact treated by the tribunals and courts as 'workers', and therefore entitled to basic employment rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay.

The guidance also covers workers on zero hours contracts, agency workers, fixed term workers, apprentices, workers with no fixed base, piece workers and volunteers.

Operative date

  • Now


Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.