Testing the employment status of your express van drivers

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Dr Sybill Steiner speaks at IOC express final mile sector heads of industry IOC round table. Dr Sybill Steiner speaks at IOC express final mile sector heads of industry IOC round table.

At the IOC fellows' Heads of Industry, employment law expert Dr Sybill Steiner spoke tests for employment status of express sector van drivers.

The following day the REQUEST FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING BY THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION , REFERRING TRIBUNAL Employment Judge Andrew Clarke QC at the Watford Employment Tribunal, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, YODEL DELIVERY NETWORK LIMITED was published.

Click here for the full document.


Taylor update, Irwin Mitchell employment expert, Dr Sybill Steiner

I cannot solve status of employment this afternoon but I am here to signpost the steps to tests you can make. I believe when the Uber case gets to the Supreme Court a precedent will be set, but each case is individual. It is possible to be self-employed in a tax ruling but not in employment law. It is important to have a paper trail to demonstrate that the organisation has thought clearly about the employment status of individuals. ‘In reality, is this individual a worker or an employee?’


15% of today's workforce are counted as self-employed today. Are they self-employed? Who are the drivers of change? Taylor review 2017 has been well published, key is Taylor suggested a category of dependant contractor. My view is we have enough categories today; self-employed, PAYE and worker. This appears to be enough categories; the test which category you are in should be aligned. The test under tax law: you are self-employed or not, the hybrid worker status does not exist. Taylor suggests the test should be clearer. A fourth category would be more challenging.

Looking at the challenges - can someone be a worker who is self employed? In reference to the 2018 Good Work plan, testing employment status was recommended for alignment.

Presently everything is case law, clarity would be a test for employment status. Over the last two years there have been many challenges on employment status, famous cases included the Pimlico plumber, UBER, Deliveroo. Hermes, 65 drivers and the 'self-employment plus' contracts - this is not a legal term, it is a label.


Dr Steiner examined the employment test of status by the company using a variety of case studies. The group discussed the master/sub-contractor risk. How does IR35 stand next year?

Dr Steiner put up a Powerpoint slide for current legal tests to determine status.

To be an employee - The individual must provide personal service. There must be a mutuality of obligation. The employer must have control over the employee. Contractual terms must be consistent with employer status.

To be a worker – The individual must work under a contract. Have mutual obligations while working. Provide personal service. But no obligation to offer or accept work,

To be self-employed – No requirement to be offered or to accept work. Individual can decide when and how to work, no direct supervision. No requirement for personal service, can provide a substitute. Individual can provide services to competitors.


Last modified on Sunday, 22 September 2019 20:37