The European Court has upheld the long-standing principle that parties to a dispute should be able to choose their lawyers without having to go through a tender process (or use a framework).
There has been a steady trickle, not quite a stream, as this new economy and its raft of rights are forged. We still await any changes following the Taylor Review, the Government is a little distracted at the moment!
- Tribunals and courts are looking beyond what is agreed between parties;
- Personal performance still key; this can be proved by the wording of documentation (Pimlico Plumbers and Mullins v Smith), and demonstrating that safeguarding checks are made against individuals (Addison Lee v Gasgoine);
- Commercial reality wins out; Uber AV v Aslam (on appeal): the drivers across the city were not all small business people as Uber asserted (such as Pimlico Plumbers and Mullins v Smith). Individuals cannot be clients nor customers if using employer branded equipment and vehicles;
The latest case involves the unlucky company of Addison Lee who appeared in an earlier ebriefing – Worker status: A tsunami of gig-economy claims. Mr Gasgoine, in the earlier case, was a cycle courier but Mr Lange, in this latest case, was a private-hire driver and hired liveried cars from a company associated with Addison Lee (Addison Lee v Lange & Ors). The general themes noticed above were again in evidence in the EAT’s judgement.
- The wording of the agreement where the drivers were deemed ‘independent contractors’ was set aside;
- The practicalities of the agreement – the drivers had to log onto a centralised booking system, give reasons they did not accept a booking and could be sanctioned if they didn’t accept bookings – were key to the judgement.
The only case that has bucked this trend and decided that individuals were not workers has been that of Independent Workers Union of Great Britain v RooFoods Ltd (t/a Deliveroo) TUR1/985(2016). This was before the Central Arbitration Committee, so there is a query as to whether it is binding in the Tribunal. That said, the principles are the same when applied.
- Personal performance was not required – substitution was permitted and importantly did occur in practice;
- There were no sanctions if individuals did not pick up a job
There is, we fear, little more to be said at this time as we await the Taylor Review and the judgement from the Court of Appeal in the case of Uber BV v Aslam.
On 8 July, news broke of the staggering fine of more than £183m the ICO intended to levy against British Airways as a result of a hack that took place in 2018, compromising 500,000 customers' data.
The Government has been refused permission to appeal a decision ruling that transitional arrangements in public sector pension schemes are discriminatory.
The Lifeline Project was a well-regarded charity. Failure to carry out the targets within the contracts led the charity into insolvency and resulted in a personal, 7-year disqualification order.
Many local authorities have assessed that a trading subsidiary or trading structure could be beneficial as part of generating income or the service delivery matrix.
On 23 July, trainees from Anthony Collins Solicitors will host an ‘experience day’, which will involve various activities and presentations, with lawyers and non-lawyers from across the firm.
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has launched a new scheme specifically for charities and not-for-profit organisations who want to advise EU citizens on UK settlement.
In the second part of our series on contract management pitfalls, we look at the risks and opportunities presented by payment mechanisms in construction contracts.
The Government has resurrected its plans to cap the termination payments for exiting employees in the public sector.
Under most construction contracts, the contractor takes on the ground conditions risk. However, a recent case has demonstrated that the risk can fall on the employer.
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