UK: New report into gig economy prompts calls for government action to protect labour rights

Author: Rob Davies and Sarah Butler, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 22 June 2017

The government has been urged to… protect gig economy workers, amid concerns they are being forced into contracts that sometimes pay less than £2.50 an hour and can be cancelled at any moment… The allegations are detailed in the latest report… into the gig economy… [focusing] on firms including Parcelforce, DPD, and… British Car Auctions… Complaints raised by staff interviewed for the report include being fined hundreds of pounds unless they worked while ill, while others said that self-employment meant they ended up earning as little as £2.22 an hour, or even losing money… Many of the owner-drivers, it says, were persuaded to give up their status as full employees… on the promise of better pay and more flexibility… the evidence gathered for the report showed that companies should be forced to prove staff are self-employed – reversing existing labour laws, where the onus is on staff to prove their status… (Frank Field MP) called for a more immediate “emergency intervention” to guarantee labour rights.

[Refers to: Parcelforce, DPD, British Car Auctions, Royal Mail, Deliveroo]

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Related companies: Royal Mail