The government has today published new guidance to assist individuals and businesses in Great Britain in identifying the status of individuals and the rights and obligations which follow as a result of that status. There are currently 2 tax statuses (self-employed and employed) and 3 statuses for rights (self-employed, limb (b) worker and employee). Status is key in determining the rights available to an individual and the taxes that they, and the organisation they work for or with, must pay. 

The guidance is published alongside the government's response to consultation on employment status which sought to explore whether legal reform was needed in this area. Whilst the response concludes that legal changes are not necessary, it does also recognise that the boundaries between the different statuses can be unclear and confusing. As a result, the guidance aims to make it easier for individuals and businesses to work out status and, in addition, clarifies the rights that gig economy workers are entitled too.

Whilst the additional clarification is welcome, the issue of employment status remains complex and it is unlikely that the guidance alone will enable businesses to navigate the legal minefield that employment status presents. It will be interesting to see whether, in time, further pressure is put on the government to simplify the current system.