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Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Employment and Discrimination Law

Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby dls » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:48 pm

The debate about the gig economy has been largely led by unions seeking additional members by being seen as pushing for rights.

They have indeed had successes. They have understandably trumpeted them, but perhaps they have been a littlemore quiet at their losses.
Deliveroo - who have many cyclists delivering documents have recently been victorious (at the Central Arbitration Committee) in saying that their cyclists are self employed on the basis that the cyclists have the choice of sending a friend instead to fulfil a work request.
The reality is that this is a complex but probably well trodden dispute. There is no one definition of self employment and, contrary to the view of one BBC commentator, a worker is not necessarily an employee.
The gig economy has benefits and deficits for thse involved. For some it disempowers - taking away benefits they really should have. For employers it allows new and cheaper means of providing a service. For some it empowers a worker giving a freedom and self control which is absent in an employment relationship.

Both sides have virtues and weaknesses. Pretending otherwise is just silly.
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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 am

These are arbitrary and artificial labels. Is there not a better way to sort out and define the rights and obligations of the relevant parties?
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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby dls » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:00 pm

Of course they are arbitrary an artificial.

Somebody createsa set of rights ad defines a group of people who are to have them (artificial - a construct). They then look for a word which might be useable, as a name for that class of person. Since it is a name, it is a mere mnemonic, a way of referring in shorthand to the class identified. It does not have any meaning beyond the fact that it carries out that exercise of pointing.

The mistake is in using the meaning outside the context as an indicator of some value. It would be like going into a classroom of 6 year olds and assuming that everybody and anybody called 'Lewis' must have common characteristics derived from the name - they must be born warlike leaders.
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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby YorkshireBloke » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:38 pm

Hi,

THIS is more like it! Proper debate...

IMHO the fight for rights has caused a secondary problem of uncertainty, for employers mostly but also hurting some employees.

The recent case of King v Sash Window Workshop could make a business weep. Mr King took a "job" flogging windows on commission. I've come across many "portfolio reps" in my business life, representing several different (non-competing) firms that sell into a market, I.e. builders merchants, dentists, newsagents etc.

Mt King flogged windows on commission. I would have said he was self employed. SWW budgeted his commission on the fact he paid his own tax, NI, sick and holidays, probably thereby being able to reward him well enough for him to work for them for 13 years.

Then he claimed that all along he was a worker and should have got holiday pay. He won in the (I think) ECJ and got the right to claim THIRTEEN YEARS of unpaid holidays.

Put that in your business plans businesses!

So how might this lack of clarity hurt workers? Would a firm allow a worker on their time to represent another product as a rep? If firms have to allow for holiday pay etc the commission could be lower. Instead of giving true Zero Hours contracts musicians, actors etc will have to break their statutory notice periods to be able to get gigs, parts etc. Grow your business with ANY staff at all? What a risk!

That said, if there IS clarity I can't see it coming from case law and prescident. Legislation. From a Left Labour Government. Not Social Democratic Tony. Jezzer.

Discuss?

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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby atticus » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:44 pm

(Prescident - what an interesting portmanteau word)
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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby YorkshireBloke » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:50 pm

Bloody iPsds...
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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:45 pm

dls wrote:Somebody createsa set of rights ad defines a group of people who are to have them (artificial - a construct). They then look for a word which might be useable, as a name for that class of person. Since it is a name, it is a mere mnemonic, a way of referring in shorthand to the class identified. It does not have any meaning beyond the fact that it carries out that exercise of pointing.

I mean that the distinction between the one group and another is arbitrary and seeks to divide black and white when perhaps we should look at the various shades of grey.
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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby dls » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:19 am

Which bit is arbitrary - the fat of the diision or the way it is defined.
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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby YorkshireBloke » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:43 pm

Hi,

The shareholders and bank managers of real employers are interested in pricing and managing risk.

Not knowing if your business is employing a low on-cost, pay-as-you-go "hired gun" or a long-term, build your business together, high on-cost employee is VERY serious.

Or shall we discuss "arbitrary groups"?

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Re: Employees, workers and Independent contractors

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:15 pm

dls wrote:Which bit is arbitrary - the fat of the diision or the way it is defined.

What is the practical upshot of that division?
People on <this> side have <that> right, and people on the other do not. The proper question is of what parameters entitles the person to the relevant right.
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