LONDON (Reuters) – Britain stated on Wednesday it might launch a session into office rights after mounting criticism from some unions and lawmakers that these within the “gig economy” are being exploited.
The self-employed in Britain are entitled to solely primary protections akin to well being and security while employees obtain the minimal wage, holiday pay and relaxation breaks and staff are additionally assured rights akin to maternity depart and sick pay.
Rapidly increasing tech companies akin to Uber [UBER.UL] and meals courier Deliveroo rent their drivers on a self-employed foundation and say they benefit from the flexibility of the gig financial system, the place folks are inclined to work for a number of companies with out fastened contracts.
Unions say these practices are exploitative and have taken court docket motion in opposition to Uber and others, arguing drivers deserve employees’ rights, profitable a high-profile case in opposition to Uber in 2016 which the taxi app is interesting.
Prime Minister Theresa May is eager to indicate she is tackling issues confronted significantly by youthful Britons, who disadvantaged her ruling Conservatives of a majority in a snap election final yr by overwhelmingly backing the left-wing Labour Party.
“We recognize the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business,” stated May.
As a part of the session, which is because of shut within the Spring, the government will contemplate whether or not new laws is required to make it simpler to distinguish between employment classes, affecting rights and tax obligations.
It comes after a evaluate by the Chief Executive of The Royal Society of Arts Matthew Taylor stated final yr that many Britons working for companies within the gig financial system deserved extra advantages such because the minimal wage.
Responding to the evaluate, ministers stated thousands and thousands of individuals will be capable to search a extra secure contract, have holiday and sick pay enforced, obtain an inventory of rights they’re entitled to and be given a payslip.
They additionally pledged on Wednesday to crack down on sectors the place unpaid interns are performing the function of a employee and can contemplate rising penalties for employers who have lost related employment tribunal instances prior to now.
Labour has promised a raft of measures to spice up office rights, together with the abolition of zero-hours contracts, which provide no ensures on working hours, and a hike within the minimal wage.
Editing by Stephen Addison