When the self-employed are found to be workers

And so are entitled to holiday pay

An employer whose business model uses “gig staff” (presumed to be self-employed often) has told a committee of MP’s that if a worker takes them to Tribunal and wins, gaining rights to paid holiday and to the Living Wage, the employer would not roll out the rights to anyone else. They would simply wait and give the holiday pay only to those who take them to Tribunal.

According to the Institute of Employment Rights today, parcel company Hermes told the BEIS Committee of MP’s that it would only give holidays to those who sued in Tribunal.  The reasoning being that very few would actually bother to sue, and so it would save the company a fortune in not paying holiday and minimum wage. The full press release from the IoER can be read at the following link:

https://ier.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f121e48a8bb6d3101590c12d3&id=e7e63ff235&e=71131c031b

The maths is simple enough. If a courier company has 100 workers that are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ holiday that it is wrongly withholding holiday pay from, and each worker earns say £400 per week, that is £224,000 per year saved.  If the company then spent £20,000 per year fighting tribunals, it is still a substantial saving.

According to the IoER, when UBER lost its case on this subject last year, it sent an email to 50,000 staff stating that the judgement did not mean that they were automatically going to get holiday, and very few have pursued their right to do so.

 

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