A recent employment law case that has seen a foster carer claim that she is a worker and therefor entitled to rights such as holiday pay has thrown a spotlight on a rapidly evolving area of employment law.
Trade union the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is filing the claim on behalf of foster carer Sarah Anderson against Hampshire County Council.
Employment Partner Barry Stanton told People Management that the case comes amid intense scrutiny on new working relationships derived from the "gig economy".
Barry noted that “It is perhaps not surprising that this claim will focus scrutiny on a very fundamental relationship.”
If successful, the claim potentially has far reaching implications for local authorities engaging with foster carers. A successful claim would give foster carers rights to 5.6 weeks’ holiday and the right to bring a claim for back dated holiday pay.
It would also mean that foster carers with their own children would be entitled to paid holiday in respect of foster children but not for their own.
"The claim will throw into sharp contrast the relationship that foster carers have with those they care for and have potentially far reaching implications, outside of the simple issue or whether or not foster carers are workers", noted Barry
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