Worker Status and Vicarious Liability: The Need for Coherence


Sarah Fraser Butlin and Robin Allen QC have published a University of Cambridge Law Faculty working paper on Pimlico Plumbers and vicarious liability. 

Gig economy cases continue to dominate the news and work their way through the courts. This paper considers a different angle to the issues and argues that the developments in vicarious liability should apply to the “worker status” debate. Specifically, that to avoid regulatory dissonance, the tests applied to determine those who are in a situation “akin to employment” should be aligned with the worker definition in s230(3)(b) ERA 1996. This would result in a reduced focus on personal service and substitution, and a greater concentration on the second part of the statutory test of whether the individual is in business on their own account.

The paper can be downloaded here.