Your round-up of the stories that you should discuss at interview this week.
- Employment Law
Reported by Anna Flaherty
An update on the “gig economy”
Deliveroo has won a landmark legal victory against the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which was attempting to establish that Deliveroo riders were “workers”, which in turn would have entitled them to certain rights. These rights would have included minimum wage, holiday pay and pension contributions. Instead of this, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled that the Deliveroo couriers were self-employed.
Deliveroo riders are able to “substitute”, letting other riders take their place on a job. Due to this freedom, the CAC ruled them to be self-employed. Whilst Deliveroo insists that its couriers want the flexibility that comes with being self-employed, the IWGB challenge shows that many are unhappy with their terms and conditions, with the General Secretary of the IWGB saying:
“It seems that after a series of defeats, finally a so-called gig economy company has found a way to game the system.”
Though the situation seems bleak for Deliveroo riders, the CAC decision could still be appealed on a point of law in the High Court.
Meanwhile Uber, a company which has also heavily relied upon the “gig economy”, suffered another loss last week. The company lost its appeal of the recent decision that ruled that Uber drivers were “workers”.
- International Law
Reported by Andrew MacDonald
An update on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Despite US withdrawal this year, members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have made efforts to revive the proposed regional trade agreement.
As part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, eleven nations released a joint statement saying they were committed to free and open trade.
TPP is a pact aimed to remove tariffs, increase trade and deepen diplomatic ties between various Pacific Rim economies – Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru. The US withdrew in January this year on behalf of the President’s campaign pledge. Citing it as a ‘horrible deal,’ President Trump claimed that the agreement would cost US jobs.
To make things worse Canada has now been accused of ‘sabotaging’ the agreement process. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, failed to show up for a leaders’ meeting on the TPP framework on Friday.
Canada is now the largest economy in TPP after Japan, now that the US has left.
Canada’s trade minister François-Philippe Champagne denied that the Prime Minister had deliberately skipped the meeting and stressed that a scheduling mix-up was to blame for his non-appearance.
The Japanese Economy Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, said the eleven nations ‘agree in principle’ on a trade framework. Whereas, according to Mr Champagne, reports of agreement among TPP countries on trade are ‘absolutely not true.’
Mr Trudeau said earlier in the week that Canada would not be rushed into a renewed TPP deal. Concerns around culture, jobs and the automotive industry have been issues that Canada has justified for its hesitance. Trudeau said the other countries should never have expected to leave Vietnam with an agreement in hand.
Countries keen for making a deal are notably Australia and New Zealand. TPP would open up billions in new exports for their agricultural sectors.
- Corporate Law
Reported by Megan Kearns
Merger for Tesco and renowned wholesaler is approved
Provisional findings from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruled that Tesco’s 3.7bn takeover of the wholesaler Booker will not result in higher prices and poorer services for shoppers. The investigation found that Tesco and Booker do not compete directly within the wholesaler/retail sector and concluded that “existing competition is sufficiently strong… to ensure that the merger will not lead to higher prices or a reduced service for supermarket and convenience shoppers.”
Booker supplies over 5,000 stores under the brands Premier, Londis, Budgens and Family Shopper meaning a merge with Tesco would result in Britain’s biggest retailer supplying smaller retailers. Booker supplies 5,000 stores in comparison to Tesco’s 3,000 UK stores. Therefore, a merger would also mean Tesco would be supplying goods to 125,000 independent convenience stores and 468,000 restaurants and pubs.
Tesco commented that, “We look forward to creating the UK’s leading food business, bringing together our combined expertise in retail and wholesale. This merger has always been about growth, and will bring benefits for independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers, consumers, and colleagues.” This latest corporate development for Tesco is movement in the right direction for the retailer who has been impacted by growing competition from discount stores and an accounting scandal. The deal is expected to be completed in early 2018 after CMA give their final decision at the end of December.
Read more here.
- European Union Law
Reported by Sarah Mullane
EU citizens to keep immigration rights
In a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice, it has been decided that EU citizens who have become British will not lose their right to bring their non-EU spouses into the UK.
Following five months of deliberation, the ECJ ruled that the Home Office had been wrong in refusing dual British-Spanish citizen Perla Ormazábal the right to have her Algerian husband live with her in the UK. The High Court in London had asked the judges for clarification on this matter after the Home Office had denied her husband’s application for permanent residency. The Home Office argued that Ormazábal’s rights under the freedom of movement directive ceased once she became a British citizen and that, as such, they believed her British citizenship meant that she should be treated as any other British national and should therefore be subject to the UK’s strict immigration rules.
The judges in this case decided that, although the European directive had in fact ceased due to her British citizenship, her husband held a “derived right” of residence under the rules. They also held that in order for the rules to be effective, citizens such as Ormazabel’s husband still retained the right to build a family life.
Barristers have expressed that this ruling may have implications for EU citizens applying for British Passports in the future, though it is not yet known how this might affect those living in the UK after Brexit.