Undoubtedly, many reading this article will be aware of the unfortunate consequences following the 2017, and subsequent 2021, legislative changes to the Off-Payroll Working Legislation.
This legislation has forced hundreds of thousands of contractors across the UK to change the way they work, making the transition from an autonomous independent contractor to an umbrella worker or a prima facie contractor, being worked in the same manner as a normal worker but without the rights that a worker should be afforded (i.e. holiday pay, pensions, company-paid Employers’ NICs and Levy’s). These issues have been controversial in the contractor space for a long time, and, at Contractor Voice, we feel that the actions that are being taken in order to address them need to be spoken about and shared. So, what’s going on at the moment?
Leigh Day is a law firm, well known for their actions on behalf of contractors in the UK who have been taken advantage of in the midst of the major Off-Payroll Working changes.
Following a successful claim on behalf of 4,000 Uber drivers, who were treated as independent contractors when they should’ve been afforded the employment rights of workers, Leigh Day have seen their case be reaffirmed in the Supreme Court, confirming that there are thousands of UK contractors who are potentially entitled to tens of thousands in compensation for not being afforded workers’ rights.
The companies they are currently bringing group litigation claims against are Uber, Amazon and BCA.
- Uber drivers who’ve been engaged on a self-employed basis have been driving in the same manner as other taxi drivers who would be afforded the employment rights they are entitled to.
- Amazon drivers, amidst the massive rise in the company during the course of the pandemic, have been driving on a self-employed basis despite clear signs of employment.
- BCA drivers have been the backbone of a company which relies on drivers to deliver their cars around the country while not being treated as an employee and thus not receiving the employment rights they are entitled to.
In each of these situations, high-level decisions have been taken to engage workers on a legally risky faux self-employed basis simply because companies save massive amounts of money when they are not (on paper) responsible for paying Employers’ National Contributions, Apprenticeship Levy, Pension Contributions, Holiday Pay and Maternity/Paternity Pay.
At Contractor Voice, we commend Leigh Day on its efforts to bring justice to people who’ve been mistreated as ‘self-employed’, and we intend to continue raising awareness around these group claims and, if you are or were an Uber, Amazon or BCA driver, you could be entitled to up to £10,000 worth of compensation. We urge you to get involved in these group claims as soon as possible – to find out more about Leigh Day’s work and how it could benefit you, visit https://www.leighday.co.uk/our-services/group-claims/
Contractors For Justice (C4J)
C4J has been working to bring contractors together and build the foundations of group claims in instances where workers have been wrongly classified as ‘self-employed’ and not afforded basic employment rights. Frequently reporting on major claims, such as the recent claims against Purple Bricks, YOPA and other estate agencies, as well as the variety of driving and logistics based companies listed above. We reached out to C4J for comments on the work that they do and they came back saying,
‘Whilst we do frequently challenge disguised employment, our main focus is obtaining rights for workers. Workers are entitled to receive the same benefits and pay of that given to an employee carrying out a similar role. We are working hard to attain justice for those individuals who have been classed as Self-employed, but were indeed treated as a worker. There are also cases for workers operating through Umbrella companies where they have been deducted Holiday, Pension and Employers NI where C4J would be happy to address on their behalf.’
C4J is a fantastic source of information on what’s currently going on to address the issues that mistreated contractors are facing. Acting as a well-versed directory for the various group claims around the UK and being a frequent reporter of news on their Twitter account, C4J is a great first stop for information on what you could do if you’ve been affected by the issues we’ve addressed in this article. Find out more about C4J on their twitter page – https://twitter.com/c_4justice
Our aim is to increase the exposure surrounding the mistreatment of contractors and attract the attention of mainstream news in hopes that this will hold the government accountable and provide them with no other alternative than to finally begin to protect contractors effectively.
If there is a topic that you feel we should be talking about, then please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.