HMRC investigates gig economy and use of self-employed workers

With the recent employment tribunal proceedings into how Uber employs its workers and possible investigations into the business model of courier company Hermes, HMRC is now launching the snappily titled ‘Employment Status and Intermediaries Team’ to investigate compliance by companies, in and outside the gig economy, in providing the correct employment rights, status, and benefits to their workers.gig economy

(Update: on Friday 28th the Employment Tribunal ruled that the Uber drivers were workers; more to follow on that but Uber will appeal that decision).

The team will investigate the use of false employee status to save costs (on benefits, tax, NICs, etc), and say they will respond to complaints and actively investigate companies that have a large amount of self-employed workers or agency workers.

A feature of the so-called gig economy is the use of self-employed workers who engage in work from a particular company through smartphone apps. But are they genuinely self-employed or mis-classified?

We look at the ‘gig’ economy report, the HMRC announcement and the Uber case in more detail here.

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