The government has responded to Matthew Taylor's review on the gig economy, published in July last year, with a promised overhaul of employment rights to improve conditions for millions of workers - including those in the gig economy.

Mishcon de Reya Employment Partner Susannah Kintish is representing Pimlico Plumbers in its long running worker rights case due to be heard at the Supreme Court this month, which is currently the highest authority on these issues. 

Susannah said:

"This response, which had been expected before Christmas, is the first indication as to what extent Matthew Taylor's recommendations will be implemented. From what we have seen so far, the proposals seem underwhelming. There seems to be a focus on transparency rather than any fundamental changes to the law on employment status. It also seems to have gone quiet on the much talked about "dependent contractor status" but this may be picked up in the forthcoming consultation.

"Worker status is a nuanced area, and it would indeed be difficult to make any sweeping changes that would benefit everyone. We do desperately need, however, clearer guidance for the wide range of employers across different industries that operate within the gig economy – for those businesses, worker status remains an ongoing challenge. The Employment Rights Act from 1996 does not legislate for matters arising out of today's economy, which has significantly evolved since then.

"If the government does not formally regulate the gig economy, the raft of other businesses operating within it will need to look to worker status judgments for a framework on which to operate. We are acting for Pimlico Plumbers in Pimlico Plumbers Limited and Mullins v Smith [2017] EWCA Civ 51, soon be heard at the Supreme Court, which is currently the highest authority on this issue."