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UK workers earning GBP2.50 an hour prompts call for govt. action

Author: Rob Davies & Sarah Butler, Guardian (UK), Published on: 11 July 2017

The government has been urged to stage an “emergency intervention” 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 by the former work and pensions committee chair, Frank Field MP, into the gig economy, where people work flexible hours on short-term or freelance contracts without the rights of permanent employees. Field’s report comes nine months after Theresa May promised in her maiden party conference speech as prime minister to “make sure that, in our modern and flexible economy, people are properly protected at work”. Its findings are likely to intensify scrutiny of a government-backed review by former Tony Blair adviser Matthew Taylor into modern employment practices, which is expected to be published early next week. Field’s report focuses on firms including Parcelforce, DPD, and – for the first time – British Car Auctions, owner of webuyanycar.com. 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. [also refers to Deliveroo, Royal Mail, CitySprint & Uber]

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Related companies: Deliveroo Royal Mail Uber