Connect with us

Workers

Über decision ‘significant for other gig workers’ says Labour Relations Agency

Published

on


Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE Labour Relations Agency (LRA) has described a Supreme Court judgment affecting Über drivers as ‘a landmark decision’.

The justices ruled that Über drivers are ‘workers’ and not – as argued by Über – ‘self-employed independent contractors’.

This is significant because exact employment status determines the employment rights and entitlements individuals have, such as the right to be paid National Minimum Wage and entitlement to paid holidays.

The Supreme Court’s 18,500-word ruling was delivered by one justice, Lord Leggatt – all the other judges on the panel said they agreed with his conclusions.

Two drivers – Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar – had made employment tribunal claims. Both were licensed to drive private hire vehicles in London.

Lord Leggatt said at the time of the 2016 employment tribunal hearing, there were about 30,000 Uber drivers operating in the London area and 40,000 in the UK, including Northern Ireland.

LRA director of employment relations services Mark McAllister said: “This decision is not only important for Über drivers in Northern Ireland, it means other, so-called ‘gig workers’ may also be incorrectly classified as self-employed as opposed to workers, and so should check their employment status too.

“The judgment means courts and tribunals will consider what actually happens in practice, not just how someone’s employment status is described in their contract.

“The Labour Relations Agency can provide information and advice on how employment status is determined, but if an individual decides to challenge their employment status, the tribunals and courts will make the final decision,” he added.

Sarah Cochrane, senior associate in the employment team at Carson McDowell in Belfast, said: “The decision serves as a further reminder to companies, and particularly those operating within the gig economy, that the label placed on individuals at the outset of a relationship will have little bearing if it does not reflect what is happening on the ground.”

She added: “Genuine autonomy and control over one’s own work are key indicators of self-employed status and if affording such independence is not practicable, employers need to give serious consideration to whether it is appropriate to engage workers or indeed employees.”

Source link

Workers

Budget 2021: Labour MP urges stronger laws to protect gig workers, Politics News & Top Stories

Published

on

By

SINGAPORE – Gig workers should be accorded stronger legal protection to address the “lopsided bargaining powers” of platform companies that have left the likes of food delivery riders with the shorter end of the stick, said labour MP Desmond Choo.

The assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress noted that these workers are not covered under the Employment Act and Industrial Relations Act as they are not considered employees.

“Yet, most of these workers are lowly skilled and wholly dependent upon the platform companies for their livelihood. The lopsided bargaining powers also means that companies can unilaterally change the terms of their service and incentive structures,” he said.

“Moreover, as the workers are classified as independent contractors, they lack the ability to collectively bargain and negotiate wages or change working conditions with companies.”

Last December, NTUC formed a new group to represent delivery riders under the National Delivery Champions Association.

“But their hands might be tied by legal restrictions on collective representation for service or employment terms,” said Mr Choo (Tampines GRC).

To level the playing field between gig workers and platform companies, Mr Choo urged the Government to consider allowing NTUC to represent these workers, or provide them with “some level of statutory protection” under the Employment Act.

He also noted that platform companies are not incentivised to train or upskill gig workers and ensure their social security.

To combat these issues, the Government should consider subsidising or penalising platform companies into providing social protections for these workers, said Mr Choo.

Cost-sharing schemes between the Government and these platforms can also be considered to upskill gig workers and improve their productivity and employability, he added.

Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) suggested that Singapore heed the recent judgment by the UK Supreme Court, which ruled that Uber drivers should be considered workers – not independent contractors – who are entitled to protections over their pay and work conditions.

Mr Choo also gave suggestions on supporting young Singaporeans who “now find themselves on the wrong side of the growth curve”.

Subsidies and loans should be provided to young Singaporeans to pursue a second diploma or degree so that they can pivot to growing sectors, he said.

Consider giving government incentives to host companies of SGUnited Traineeships so that they convert trainees to full-time hires, he added.

Mr Choo also mooted appointing youth ambassadors to support the mental well-being of their peers, who may be stressed by the ongoing job search amid the current economic climate. NTUC will support such initiatives, he said.

Financial planning and career preparation courses in schools can also be reviewed, to better prepare the younger generation to adapt to new economic challenges when they graduate, he added.



Source link

Continue Reading

Workers

Labour MP urges stronger laws to protect gig workers, Politics News & Top Stories

Published

on

By

Gig workers should be accorded stronger legal protection to address the “lopsided bargaining powers” of platform companies that have left the likes of food delivery riders with the shorter end of the stick, said labour MP Desmond Choo (Tampines GRC).

The assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) noted that these workers are not covered under the Employment Act and Industrial Relations Act, as they are not considered employees.

“Yet, most of these workers are lowly skilled and wholly dependent upon the platform companies for their livelihood. The lopsided bargaining powers also mean that companies can unilaterally change the terms of their service and incentive structures,” he said.

“Moreover, as workers are classified as independent contractors, they lack the ability to collectively bargain and negotiate wages or change working conditions with companies.”

Last December, NTUC formed a new group to represent delivery riders under the National Delivery Champions Association.

“But their hands might be tied by legal restrictions on collective representation for service or employment terms,” said Mr Choo.

To level the playing field between gig workers and platform companies, Mr Choo urged the Government to consider allowing NTUC to represent these workers, or provide them with “some level of statutory protection” under the Employment Act.

He also noted that platform companies are not incentivised to train or upskill gig workers, and ensure their social security.

To combat these issues, the Government should consider subsidising or penalising platform companies into providing social protections for these workers, he said.

Cost-sharing schemes between the Government and these platforms can also be considered, to upskill gig workers and improve their productivity and employability, he added.

Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) suggested Singapore heed the recent judgment by the United Kingdom supreme court which ruled that Uber drivers should be considered workers – not independent contractors – who are entitled to protections over their pay and work conditions.

Mr Choo also gave suggestions on supporting young Singaporeans who “now find themselves on the wrong side of the growth curve”, including providing subsidies and loans for them to pursue a second diploma or degree so they can pivot to growing sectors.

Another suggestion was to give government incentives to host companies of SGUnited Traineeships so that they convert trainees to full-time hires.



Source link

Continue Reading

Workers

DOL withdraws opinion letters on gig worker arrangement, truck driver hours

Published

on

By

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew Feb. 19 a pair of wage-and-hour opinion letters issued in 2019 by the agency’s Wage and Hour Division, according to its website.
  • Published in April 2019, the first letter determined that a virtual marketplace company’s on-demand workers were correctly classified as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). DOL said the letter was withdrawn because it was “based on rules that have not gone into effect.”
  • The second letter, published in July 2019, stated that the hours truck drivers spend off-duty in their trucks’ sleep berths do not qualify as compensable time under the FLSA. This letter was “inconsistent with longstanding WHD interpretations” and “[s]everal courts have declined to follow this letter,” DOL said in giving its rationale for withdrawal.

Dive Insight:

The actions mean both letters “may not be relied upon as a statement of agency policy” as of Feb. 19, per DOL.

While potentially helpful to employers in their compliance operations, opinion letters have limitations, legal sources previously told HR Dive. A letter may not apply to an employer’s particular situation and, as DOL noted, courts may not defer to the agency’s interpretation of a given subject.

Administrations have also varied widely in their approach toward opinion letters in recent years. The Obama administration, for example, favored the use of “Administrator’s Interpretations” over opinion letters, and it also withdrew several letters issued by the administration of President George W. Bush.

Aside from the two letters withdrawn Feb. 19, the Biden administration previously withdrew a batch of letters including one that addressed the ability of employers to maintain a tip pool that includes both tipped employees for whom an employer takes a tip credit as well as nontipped employees.

More broadly, DOL’s decision to withdraw the letter addressing on-demand workers may be representative of the Biden administration’s broader approach to worker classification under federal law. Earlier this month, the agency proposed a delay of the Trump administration DOL’s independent contractor rule, which would have revised its interpretation of the FLSA’s classification provision for determining whether a worker is an employer or independent contractor.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 Gigger.news.