12th January 2017
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Employment status in the gig economy
You may recall the case of the Uber happy cabbies who recently persuaded a tribunal that they were workers, thereby gaining themselves additional protections. Hot on the heels of that decision and a similar one against City Sprint last week, workers and companies in the ‘gig economy’ are seeking clarity on work status. This year will not only see legal challenges being taken against courier companies, which include Addison Lee, Excel and E-Courier but also Uber are, unsurprisingly, appealing the decision against them too. Watch out for the Aslam v Uber BV case.
More on holiday entitlement
The British Gas saga continues, they have now applied for permission to take their case to the Supreme Court to determine whether commission and similar payments are included in holiday pay. Watch out for the Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd case.
Another holiday pay case is also in the pipeline where the Court of Justice of the European Union will determine the remedies available to a worker whose employer denies they are entitled to paid leave, including whether a worker in that position can carry their untaken leave entitlement forward indefinitely until the employer gives him an opportunity to exercise it or his employment ends.
This case will be of particular significance for the ‘gig economy’ workers. A finding of worker status could leave an employer facing claims for several years’ worth of unpaid holiday pay, unless the CJEU limits the carry-over period. Watch out for The Sash Window Workshop Ltd v King case.
Whistleblowing “in the public interest”?
How ‘public’ does the interest need to be to gain whistleblowing protection? The Court of Appeal will consider whether disclosures made in the interest of around 100 managers will attract whistleblowing protection. Look out for Chesterton Global Limited v Nurmohamed. The case was expected to have been heard in October 2016 but the hearing was postponed to June 2017.
Subject access requests – too onerous?
The Court of Appeal is expected to provide further guidance upon the duty to respond to subject access requests and when they may be deemed too onerous. Look out for the Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing LLP case.
Although not directly employment law related we couldn’t leave without a mention of the impending decision on the hot political topic of Parliamentary sovereignty. The Supreme Court is due to give judgment imminently will give judgment on whether the Government alone has the power to invoke Article 50. Also to be heard in March, in the Supreme Court will be the case of R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor on the legal challenge to the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees. A successful challenge could see an increase in employment claims.
Roll on 2017!
The contents of this update are intended as guidance for readers. It can be no substitute for specific advice. Consequently we cannot accept responsibility for this information, errors or matters affected by subsequent changes in the law, or the content of any website referred to in this update. © Mundays LLP 2017.
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Andrew Knorpel reviews the busy last few weeks of employment-related cases heard by The Court of Appeal