Fair pay for those work­ing in the UK’s ‘gig econ­omy’ DI­ARY

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

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 self-em­ployed 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 anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws. Reg­u­lar work­ers re­ceive en­ti­tle­ments such as an­nual leave, rest breaks and the min­i­mum wage.

The review, due to be pub­lished to­day, will rec­om­mend that min­is­ters cre­ate a new type of worker called a “de­pen­dent con­trac­tor”, the BBC said. It 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 (R130) an hour for the over-25s.

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