Deliveroo judgement: IPSE warns of “untenable mess” in gig economy where self-employment can only be confirmed through the courts

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has responded to the latest ruling finding Deliveroo riders are self-employed, warning that the gig economy is an “untenable mess” and that it must not continue to be the case that self-employment can only be confirmed through the courts.

Deliveroo rider

IPSE’s comments came in response to the announcement today that the UK Court of Appeal has confirmed that Deliveroo riders are technically self-employed – the fourth UK ruling asserting this.

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said: “This ruling shows yet again the untenable mess that prevails in the UK gig economy, where self-employment can only be confirmed through the courts. We cannot persist in a situation where the only way to show someone’s self-employed status in the UK is through the courts.

“We urge government to step in and clear the confusion in the gig economy, which arises from the fact that while UK law clearly defines worker and employee status, there is still no definition of what it is to be self-employed. We believe the only way to resolve this is to write a statutory definition of self-employment into UK law – not only to secure the rights of people who should properly be classed as workers, but also to protect the freedom of legitimately self-employed people.”


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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.

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