New Protection for Gig Economy Workers - July 2017

Gig economy to provide better rights to workers including paid holidays and sick pay

The Taylor report into modern workplace practices is published today.  It recommends seven key changes to how those employed in the ‘gig’ economy in particular should be treated.  Whilst the report covers all types of work in the UK it could have greater implications on the tech based platforms that allow individuals to work on a per job basis – hence the reference to the ‘gig’ economy.

Amongst his recommendations are that people working for gig economy businesses should be treated as “dependent contractors” and receive more employment rights as a result.  A ‘dependent contractor’ is someone who ”is not an employee but neither are they genuinely self-employed”.

Ultimately, if the changes being recommended are implemented by the government it would mean that individuals working for companies like Uber and Deliveroo would get sick pay and would qualify for paid holiday too.   The report also says that these individuals should be given their rights in writing from day one in “plain English”.

Whilst it does recommend increased rights for those on zero hours contracts, it doesn’t rule out a total ban on zero hours.

The review recommends that the government re-write employment law so that any self-employed worker who is under “control” and “supervision” should be given holiday pay, sick pay and, in most cases, receive the minimum wage.

The review has received a mixed reaction with many Trades Unions saying that it doesn’t go far enough in offering additional rights to workers.   It will now be up to the government to decide how to take the recommendations forward, so for now it’s watch this space.