Bri­tain should give more rights to gig econ­omy work­ers: BBC

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

A Bri­tish gov­ern­ment-com­mis­sioned re­port is to rec­om­mend that those work­ing in the so-called “gig econ­omy” for firms like taxi app Uber, re­ceive rights such as sick pay and hol­i­day en­ti­tle­ment, the BBC re­ported yes­ter­day. Last year, Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May set up a re­view into modern em­ploy­ment prac­tices af­ter an out­cry over the in­creas­ing use of zero-hour con­tracts and the ris­ing num­ber of self­em­ployed peo­ple work­ing for apps such Uber and food courier De­liv­eroo.

Firms say the bur­geon­ing “gig econ­omy”, in which peo­ple can work si­mul­ta­ne­ously for dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies with­out fixed con­tracts, gives greater flex­i­bil­ity to both them and their staff but such prac­tices have been crit­i­cised as ex­ploita­tive by unions. In Bri­tain, the self-em­ployed have no en­ti­tle­ment to em­ploy­ment rights be­yond ba­sic health and safety and an­tidis­crim­i­na­tion laws. Reg­u­lar work­ers re­ceive en­ti­tle­ments such as an­nual leave, rest breaks and the min­i­mum wage. The re­view, due to be pub­lished on Tuesday, will rec­om­mend that min­is­ters cre­ate a new type of worker called a “de­pen­dent con­trac­tor”, the BBC said, grant­ing greater en­ti­tle­ments.

The re­view will also call for firms to be obliged to show that a per­son work­ing for them is able to earn at least 1.2 times the na­tional liv­ing wage, which stands at 7.50 pounds ($9.65) an hour for the over-25s, by cal­cu­lat­ing the av­er­age num­ber of tasks worked. Bri­tain’s busi­ness min­istry de­clined to com­ment on the re­port’s find­ings when con­tacted by Reuters yes­ter­day. —Reuters

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