British MPs are of the view that workers are being left worse off as the loopholes in employment law are being exploited by firms in the “gig economy”.
Two Commons committees say that an “unacceptable burden” of having to prove they are “workers” not self-employed, is being faced by minicab drivers and delivery riders.
If workers are falsely classified and denied their dues on that basis, the erring firms should be fined, they suggest.
The government recognised the “labour market is not working for everyone”, a spokeswoman said.
To conduct a review of the employment practices, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of the Arts, had been commissioned by the government, she said.
In order to force companies to pay for holidays and sick pay, a worker owu dbe assumed by default, according to a draft bill at has been drawn up by the Work and Pensions Committee and the Business Select Committee.
The draft bill would “end the mass exploitation of ordinary, hard-working people in the gig economy”, said Frank Field, the Labour chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, UK.
“It is time to close the loopholes that allow irresponsible companies to underpay workers, avoid taxes and free ride on our welfare system,” he said.
“the risks of being caught outweigh the gains companies stand to make from illegal practices” would be ensured by the fines levied against erring firms, the committees said.
“We are considering his report carefully and will respond in due course,” a government spokeswoman said.
Even though several cases have been lost by Uber, gig economy business like it and Deliveroo claim that their workers are self-employed.
Statutory benefits are not automatically made available to “self-employed” workers who use the the gig-business technology platforms to locate work.
flexibility that “on-demand” working gives is valued by gig workers, the firms say.
The “gigs” that are done by workers, like a food delivery or a car journey, forms t ha basis of the payment that they get instead of a regular wage in the gig economy.
There are more than one million people in the UK who are believed to be employed in this system.
couriers, ride-hailing drivers and video producers are included in this type of jobs.
Independent contractor is the name given to the workers in the gig economy.
This essentially means that such workers do not have any rights related to receiving the national minimum wage, paid holiday or sickness pay, no authority to get redundancy payments, and possess not form of protection against unfair dismissal.
Flexibility should not replace workers; rights, said Rachel Reeves, the Labour chairwoman of the Business Select Committee.
“Uber, Deliveroo and others like to bang the drum for the benefits of flexibility for their workforce but currently all the burden of this flexibility is picked up by taxpayers and workers,” she said.
“This must change. We say that companies should pay higher wages when they are asking people to work extra hours or on zero-hours contracts.
“Recent cases demonstrate a need for greater clarity in the law to protect workers.”
(Adapted from BBC)