Hermes decision a wake-up call for Government, IPSE says

The Government should write into law a positive definition of self-employment to provide clarity on who is and who is not genuinely self-employed, IPSE has said.

The call follows a decision in the employment tribunal today that a group of Hermes couriers were workers and not self-employed.

IPSE’s Director of Policy Simon McVicker commented: “The uncertainty about who is and who isn’t genuinely self-employed must stop. It is unacceptable that policymakers are relying on costly, time-consuming court cases as the first port of call in determining employment status. IPSE is calling on the government to write into law a positive definition of self-employment. This would provide peace of mind to the self-employed and companies looking to engage them. It would also prevent companies from universally declaring that everyone is a contractor when they should be considered workers or employees.  

"We should be cautious, however, not to take today’s case as being representative of the ‘gig economy’ or wider self-employment, and then try to regulate these ways of working into oblivion. The reality is that the vast majority of self-employed engagements are what they claim to be: genuine business-to-business engagements which are beneficial to both parties, and to the wider UK economy.”