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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
“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.”
“There will now be huge ramifications for the government, particularly because at the outset of Unison’s challenge, the Lord Chancellor agreed to repay all Employment Tribunal fees if the union was successful. It will take a while for the fee system to unravel and although technically no further fees are payable, in practice, the system has been set up so that claimants cannot actually issue their claim unless they have paid the fee or applied for remission.
“It is also extremely likely to result in an increase in the numbers of Employment Tribunal claims brought – although this might amount to a steady trickle to start with rather than a huge and immediate increase.
“One interesting point is whether employers who have been ordered to repay fees will also be able to recover their money. If the Lord Chancellor repays the claimant, he or she will then have to repay their ex employer. It will be interesting to see how this will be enforced and whether employers will bother to enforce it if the claimant keeps the money.”
“This case appears to boil down to the question of control. The Tribunal was prepared to look straight through the wording of the contract and examine closely what was really happening in practice.
“The expectation that the employee would work when she said she would, that she would be directed what to do during her “on circuit” time, the obligation to smile, the control over when she would be paid and the use of the company calculations of her pay all pointed away from a typical self-employed situation.
“The case is yet further support for the line of reasoning in the Uber case that when attempts are made by careful contractual drafting to cover up a true worker relationship, the employment tribunal will be ready to dig into the detail and disregard express contractual provisions. This is yet another decision that sends out a clear message about the rights of those working in the “gig” economy.
“What remains to be seen is the impact that cases like this will have on the viability of the growing gig economy model. If companies are forced to honour worker entitlements, will the added expense mean that the profitability simply isn’t there for this type of industry? What may seem like another victory for an individual here, could well turn out to be another hurdle for the continued survival of this way of working.”
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