UK: New research shows gig economy workers risk losing basic rights due to gaps in legislation; govt. must do more

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Article
7 December 2017

UK: Gig economy workers risk losing basic rights due to gaps in legislation, new research shows

Author: Richard Partington, The Guardian (UK)

"Gig economy workers in UK risk missing out on £22,200 of pension", 7 Dec 2017

The insurance firm Zurich said forcing gig economy companies to classify their workers as employees rather than self-employed would mean automatic enrolment in a workplace pension. Under these rules, it estimates a typical worker aged 25 and earning £25,000 a year would receive a total of £22,200 in employer contributions by the time they retire.

The analysis carried out for the insurer by the Pensions Policy Institute comes after the government delayed reforms designed to improve the rights for up to 1.1 million workers in the gig economy until next year...

MPs have suggested some gig economy firms, including digital operators such as Uber and Deliveroo, may have been exploiting gaps in current legislation.

...Employment law is lagging far behind advances in working practices, which is leaving some people in the gig economy at risk of being denied basic rights.

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Article
20 November 2017

UK: New report urges govt. to change law to better protect workers' rights in the gig economy

Author: Sarah Butler, The Guardian (UK)

[T]wo influential parliamentary committees [...] have prepared draft legislation intended to close the loopholes that allow “irresponsible companies to underpay workers”... The rise of other insecure forms of work, with about 900,000 on zero-hours contracts and 1.6 million on temporary or agency contracts, has raised fears that employment law is struggling to protect those working in the modern economy... The government said it would respond to Taylor’s report by the end of this year... The MPs’ draft bill aims to clarify the definitions of employment status and enshrine the presumption that those working for companies over a certain size are all classed as workers, with rights to the minimum wage and holiday pay. The new legislation would put the onus on the company to prove self-employed status, in a dispute, rather than on the worker to do so through the courts. [refers to Uber, Deliveroo]

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