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IWGB wins groundbreaking health and safety legal challenge against the Government

"IWGB wins groundbreaking health and safety legal challenge against the Government", 13 November 2020.

  • The IWGB has won a judicial review against the UK Government calling for health and safety protections for ‘gig economy’ and precarious workers.
  • The High Court ruling means that the UK Government failed to properly implement EU health and safety directives and must now extend health and safety protections to ‘gig economy’ and precarious workers.
  • Workers not classed as employees have been denied the right to refuse unsafe work and the right to PPE, putting them in serious danger throughout the pandemic.

The High Court has ruled in favour of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) that the UK Government has failed to transpose important EU health and safety protections into UK law.

In a detailed judgment handed down today, Mr Justice Chamberlain found that the UK has failed to grant workers in the ‘gig economy’ the rights they are entitled to under EU Health and Safety law.

The judgment means that workers in the ‘gig economy’ are entitled to the same EU-derived health and safety rights as employees. Key rights are (i) to be provided with Personal Protective Equipment by the business they are working for and (ii) the right to stop work in response to serious and imminent danger. The UK Government must now urgently take steps to ensure that workers have the same protection as employees...

The pandemic has made workers’ rights into a public health issue. The Government’s failure to extend health and safety protections has left many workers in the ‘gig economy’ exposed to serious risks. 1 in 10 adults engage in ‘gig economy’ work, which accounts for at least 4.7 million people working in the UK with little to no health and safety protections...

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