Acas updates its guidance to reflect gig economy developments

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The Work and Pensions Committee questioned Amazon earlier this month as part of its self-employment inquiry
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Conciliation service Acas has issued new guidance to help employers understand gig economy working, on the back of the ongoing Taylor review of modern workplaces and a slew of employment status cases.

Its updated guidance outlines different types of employment status following recent high-profile court judgments involving companies such as CitySprint and Uber.

Earlier this month Matthew Taylor, a former policy adviser to Tony Blair, embarked on a nationwide fact-finding tour to establish the impact of such flexible employment contracts on employers and employees. The full review will be published this summer.

And last week the Work and Pensions Committee heard from Uber, Deliveroo, Hermes and Amazon as part of its inquiry into the growing trend towards self-employment.

Acas said its aim is to “provide some clarity on the various different types of ways that people can work and the employment rights that they are entitled to”.

“We have seen changes in the way many people are working over recent years, with a heightened focus on gig economy working,” explained head of guidance Stewart Gee.

“Many businesses and their staff may not realise that a working person’s employment rights very much depends on their status.

“A person who is self-employed or defined as a worker is likely to have different legal rights to someone else who is considered an employee.”

The guidance covers the three main types of employment status: employee, worker and self-employed. In the latter case, the guidance has been expanded to look at how the relationship works if someone operates through an umbrella company or an agency.

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