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The Common Law Employment Relationship

A Comparative Study

Gordon Anderson, Douglas Brodie and Joellen Riley

The contract of employment provides in many jurisdictions the legal foundation for the employment of workers. This book examines how the development of the common law under the influence of contemporary social and economic pressures has caused this contract to evolve.
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Chapter 4: Changing and alternative modes of employment

A Comparative Study

Gordon Anderson, Douglas Brodie and Joellen Riley

Extract

This chapter considers the challenges faced by the courts and legislatures in an era where modes of employment and the economic and legal distance between workers and the beneficiaries of that work are changing at an accelerating rate. The labour market has witnessed a large growth in the number of agency workers and the ranks of the self-employed as well as arrangements such as franchises. The extent to which workers are genuinely providing their services through a vehicle other than employment is open to question especially when terms and conditions are inferior to those available to employees. The challenge of how to deal with this question poses ongoing problems for the courts. Keywords comparative employment law, employee, contract of employment, independent contracts, ‘gig’ economy, sham contracts

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