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Alan is a Partner in our Employment team, based in Manchester. With nearly twenty years’ experience in the employment sector, he is renowned among clients for his dedicated approach and attention to detail. He mainly advises employers and his clients range from small SMEs to larger companies with thousands of employees.
Alan advises employers on how best to streamline management of staff and resources to reduce the time spent on areas adding little value to the business. He also assists directors and other senior executives in drawing up contracts with their employing company, or negotiating an exit deal if they are looking to move elsewhere.
Alan is also a Local Education Authority Governor of The Elton High School.
"Alan is one of the most caring and intelligent Solicitors I have ever had the pleasure to meet. As a fellow solicitor I am proud to say that I look up to Alan as a shining example of best practice within the profession." – Peer testimonial
"His caring yet forensically detailed approach put me at ease, and ensured that I achieved the best possible result." – Client testimonial
"He comes up with unique, creative solutions that you cannot find in a text book or from your average solicitor off the street. He is able to do this because of his ability to truly understand the needs of his clients and due to outstanding level of care that he delivers." – Client testimonial
Alan qualified as a solicitor in 1988.
“This is a significant judgment and unless successfully challenged it will save care homes thousands of pounds. The decision provides a clear dividing line between when workers are actually working and are entitled to paid at least the National Minimum Wage, and when they are only available for work and are not entitled to be paid.
“Essentially, workers who are required to sleep in at their clients premises, or remain at home on call will only be entitled to be paid if they are called on to perform work during those shifts.
“This is much more straightforward and the decision will be welcomed by care homes who have been subjected to changing and conflicting guidance from the government and HMRC. In 2017 many employers were encouraged to sign up to HMRCs Social Care Compliance scheme to declare how much they had underpaid staff for sleep in shifts in exchange for not receiving stiff penalties of up to £20,000 per worker or being publicly named for underpayment of National Minimum Wage. To be accepted onto the scheme, employers had to repay underpaid NMW to their workers and those that did so, are unlikely to be able to get that money back.”
"This is the end of the road for Pimlico Plumbers and this case will go back to the tribunal to examine Mr Smith’s claims in detail.
However, it is not a game changer as the Court did not take the opportunity to provide clarity around the difficult concepts of mutuality of service. This means that cases will continue to be argued on their specific facts and, for businesses that rely on self employed contracts, that means further uncertainty.
This decision is not necessarily a win for “gig economy” workers seeking to challenge their employment status." Pimlico’s plumbers do not operate a gig model and the implications for Uber, City Sprint, Deliveroo etc may be limited, although the publicity around this case may encourage other “self employed” contractors to challenge their legal status."
“The outcome of the case could be significant and if it rules against Pimlico it will mean that the plumbers will be entitled to basic workers’ rights such as the National Minimum Wage and paid holiday. They will also be able to bring discrimination claims.
“It could have wider repercussions too. It is estimated that as many as five million people work in the gig economy, getting paid for ‘gigs’ they do, such as delivering food, packages or making car journeys.
“One implication of the acquisition of workers’ rights could well be a threat to the economic viability of the gig economy model. If national minimum wages, rest breaks and holiday pay leads to an inevitable increase in the overheads of engaging people to work, prices for the consumer will increase. That could reach a level where demand for the services tails off and a sector that created the ability for millions of individuals to work flexibly shrinks or even disappears.”
“The ECJ made it clear that previous cases involving sickness which imposed limits on how far back holiday could accrue should not be followed. Here the employer was not faced with periods of absence which could have led to difficulties in the organisation of work, but instead was able to benefit from the fact that Mr King did not interrupt his professional activity in its service in order to take paid annual leave. This means that workers like Mr King should be able to recover all untaken holiday although that will be limited to 20 days rather than all additional holiday.
“Following today’s ruling, businesses with workforces of uncertain or marginal employment status could be facing huge financial liabilities for holiday pay. The European Court has made clear its forthright position by stating, ‘an employer that does not allow a worker to exercise his right to annual leave must bear the consequences.’ Gig-economy employers in particular will be affected hugely by the decision.”
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