Does the decision in cases such as Uber BV and Others v Aslam and Others [2021] UKSC 5 and the recommendation (in the Taylor report) that there be a new category of ‘dependent contractor’ demonstrate that statutory UK employment law requires updating to keep up with the rise of the ‘gig economy’?


You have to post 500 words- relating to the debate. The requirement is 2 x 500 words (a total of 1000 words) per debate. You cannot post two consecutive 500-word contributions. One of these must be in response to another posting.

Below I will post my colleges debate so 500 words needs to be in response of their debate. And for the other half (500 words) of debates you can chose to write whatever you would like to. Also can you use only English or Welsh sources please, thank you.


My learned friends, one of the factors considered in the Uber case is what defines the contract (the offer, acceptance, and intent to form legal relations). The argument advanced was that the drivers were “dependent contractors,” which the court dismissed and described them as employees, entitling them to all employment rights.

The decision in Uber BV and others v Aslam and others [1] confirms that individuals who partake in the gig economy may very well be employees, depending on the actual nature of the relationship between the parties in each instance. This depends on the nature of the relationship between the parties involved in each instance. This has led to a greater emphasis on the process of providing legal protections to contract economy workers and modifying employment rules to reflect the changing working environment.

The court referred to Uber’s [2] ‘dependent contractor’ agreements as fiction and determined that the drivers were, in fact, employees because the express terms in a contract are terms that are openly agreed upon between the contracting parties.
As stated in the case of Autoclenz v. Belcher & Others [3], where the provisions of a documented contract do not naturally represent the underlying character of the parties’ relationship, the law may require clarification here, necessitating the updating of the UK Employment Rights.

According to Section 230[4] (1) of the Employment Rights Act of 1996 (ERA 1996), “an employee is defined as a person who has engaged in or is working under (or, if the employment has ended, worked under) a contract of employment.” However, in cases such as Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v. Smith [5] and Addison Lee Ltd v. Lange and others [6], the emphasis is on the importance of considering all relevant variables when determining employment status, as well as the need to apply a detailed, fact-specific analysis to each individual case.

The court stated that, although there is no definitive test for determining employment status, the important factors to consider are the degree of control exerted by the organisation over the individual, the degree of personal service expected of the individual, and the existence or absence of mutual obligation between the parties.

As evidenced by the Pimlico [7] case, which highlights the significance of examining the legal relationships between employers and employees, it is clear that the United Kingdom’s employment law requires reform. Since contractual documents may be altered for unethical reasons. The indistinct distinctions between employers and employees in the gig economy demand that the legal definitions of these terms be modified. This would ensure that employees are treated fairly and prevent their exploitation by employers. Furthermore, it would help prevent unethical contract worker abuse and ensure that they receive the legal protections to which they are entitled.

In 2016, the government of the United Kingdom made a request for the Taylor Review of Good Working Practices to be carried out so that it could investigate the ways in which the world of work is changing and how employment policies and procedures can be revised to better reflect the current environment [8].

To begin, the government’s decision to make this move was a positive one because it demonstrates that they are conscious of the requirement for employment work practices to acknowledge that the quick expansion of the gig economy presents a challenge to gig employees [9].

On the other hand, the critics of the assessment have provided a wide variety of reactions in response to the recommendations of the review. In addition, the report has been criticised for being “full of vacuous fluff” and light on specific suggestions, as well as for the absence of any substantial measures for enforcement or addressing breaches [10]

In addition, the report has been criticised for the absence of any substantial measures for addressing infringements. Even though the report suggests the creation of a new category of worker that would be known as “dependent freelancers,” it has been criticised for not doing enough to address prevalent workplace insecurities [11], despite the fact that it contains a recommendation to establish the category of “dependent workers.

To conclude, the UK employment system has been in existence for many years and is ready for an upgrade. By analysing both the Uber case and the Taylor review, we can determine whether the UK’s employment system requires an update. The UK employment system clearly needs to be revised to suit the evolving needs of the gig economy. The Taylor review has triggered a much-needed reform of the UK employment legislation, which has been criticised in recent years for failing to safeguard an increasingly large sector of British labour.

[1] Uber BV and others v Aslam and others [2021] UKSC 5
[2] Uber BV and others v Aslam and others [2021] UKSC 5
[3] Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher [2011] UKSC 41
[4] Employment Rights Act of 1996 (ERA 1996),
[5] Pimlico Plumbers Ltd. v. Smith [2018] UKSC 29
[6] Addison Lee Ltd. v. Lange and others [2021] EWCA Civ
[7] Pimlico Plumbers Ltd. v. Smith [2018] UKSC 29
Good work or bad? Reaction to the Taylor review, accessed on 07/03/2023.

What’s Wrong with Modern Work? On the failure of the Taylor Review
by Jamie Woodcock accessed 07/03/2023

What’s Wrong with Modern Work? On the failure of the Taylor Review
by Jamie Woodcock accessed 07/03/2023

Your Thoughts: Is the Taylor Review, Good or Bad for Workers? Accessed 07/03/2023.

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