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High Court gives trade union right to challenge Deliveroo
by Susie Hughes at 19:39 20/06/18 (News on Business)
A High Court decision involving delivery company, Deliveroo, and its workers has led to renewed calls for a statutory definition of self-employment.
The call follows a decision which confirmed that independent trade union, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) had been successful in the first stage of overturning a ruling over the rights of 'gig economy' workers with the delivery firm.

Major ramifications
A High Court Judge overturned a previous decision and granted permission for the union which represents the interests of predominantly low paid migrant workers in London, to proceed with its collective bargaining case against Deliveroo. A full judicial review before a High Court Judge will soon be listed.

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If successful, the judicial review will overturn the decision of the Central Arbitration Committee that Deliveroo Riders are not entitled to collective bargaining. The IWGB was granted permission on the basis of its human rights argument to the effect that Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights means the British collective bargaining laws need to be applied in a way which covers Deliveroo Riders. If won, the case will have massive ramifications for the so-called ‘gig-economy’ and human rights in the UK.

Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee, General Secretary said: “This case has become not just an employment rights issue, but rather a matter of fundamental human rights. Deliveroo should take a serious look at itself and ask itself whether it really wants to save a bit of money at the expense of the Human Rights of the individuals who make their business a success.”

This follows another recent case involving employment rights within the so-called 'gig economy' Pimlico Plumbers. See: Plumber case throws spanner in works of self-employment status - Shout99, June 2018)

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Self-employment group, IPSE, has said that the Government should write into statute a positive definition of self-employment to provide clarity on who does and does not work for themselves.

IPSE’s Director of Policy Simon McVicker said: “The fact that this decision comes only months after the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled in favour of Deliveroo emphasises the uncertainty and makes the need for a statutory definition of self-employment crystal clear.

“It is unacceptable that policymakers are relying on costly, time-consuming court cases as the first port of call in determining employment status. IPSE has long asserted that there is a fundamental lack of clarity about what does and doesn’t constitute self-employment. This confusion hurts both the self-employed and those looking to engage them.

“That’s why we want to see the Government write into statute a positive definition of self-employment. We believe this definition should consider four key tenets: having autonomy in their work, having control over their working arrangements, taking on business risk and the level of independence from clients.

“Disappointingly, the Government doesn’t appear to support this idea, but this case – just days after Pimlico Plumbers were defeated in the Supreme Court – demonstrates just how beneficial a positive definition would be.”

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2018

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