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UK: Chancellor to face legal action from gig economy workers over 'discriminatory' coronavirus policy

"Rishi Sunak faces legal action from gig economy workers", 22 March 2020

Pressure is mounting on Rishi Sunak to extend his coronavirus bailout to the UK’s five million self-employed people...

On Friday, Sunak said self-employed workers could access £94.25 a week in universal credit, but he gave a far more generous deal to employees of 80% of salaries, capped at £2,500 per month...

The Independent Workers of Great Britain union says the exclusion of the self-employed from Friday’s promise amounts to discrimination and is a risk to public health. On Monday its lawyers, Leigh Day, will send a pre-action letter ahead of issuing proceedings for a high court judicial review. It also argues that the sick pay is too low for many employees...

The move comes as a survey conducted on Wednesday and Thursday showed 47% of the self-employed and 51% in “atypical” work, such as those on zero-hours contracts, would feel obliged to work even if they had the virus...

“The chancellor is going to keep reviewing the situation and see if there are further measures we can take,” [Robert Jenrick] told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.