'Exploitation' of gig economy workers hitting pensions by £182m every year

Ross Houston
November 20, 2017

Its author, Matthew Taylor, described his recommendations as the "biggest reset of employment law for the most vulnerable workers that we've seen in a generation".

A United Kingdom government spokeswoman said the government recognises that "the labour market is not working for everyone".

Last week, takeaway service Deliveroo won a case at the Central Arbitration Committee, which ruled that the food delivery app's couriers are self-employed, rather than workers.

Gig economy businesses like Uber and Deliveroo insist their workers are self-employed, although Uber has lost several legal cases on the issue. "It is time to close the loopholes that allow irresponsible companies to underpay workers, avoid taxes and free ride on our welfare system", Field said.

He said the the prime minister could fulfil a promise to reduce inequality in Britain by backing a bill "that would end the mass exploitation of ordinary, hard-working people in the gig economy".

"We are considering his report carefully and will respond in due course".

FIRMS which exploit workers by wrongly refusing to give them benefits such as holiday pay should face large fines, MPs said today. However, agency workers can choose to opt out of this equal pay entitlement (the opt out being known as the "Swedish derogation") if they receive a minimum level of pay between assignments.

"Uber, Deliveroo and others like to bang the drum for the benefits of flexibility for their workforce but now all the burden of this flexibility is picked up by taxpayers and workers", she said, referring to the fact that gig firms do not have to pay the same rates of tax as businesses which employ staff on full-time or part-time contracts.

Pay premiums for those with non-guaranteed hours: The committees recommend that the Government works with the Low Pay Commission to pilot a pay premium on the national minimum or national living wage for those with non-contracted hours.

It is also facing a challenge to retain its operating licence in London after transport chiefs said it could not be renewed on corporate responsibility grounds.

They also want companies to either guarantee workers a set number of hours each week, or compensate them for uncertainty. "However, the fact remains that without real investment in HMRC and a political will to get tough on rogue employers who are cheating the British taxpayer out of millions and reaping profits out of worker exploitation, then there will be no significant change", he said.

The CAC said it made the decision because Deliveroo's riders have the right to put forward a substitute to do their work in place of them.

The company said it also wants to offer its workers injury and sick pay, but are prevented from doing so by current laws, which would call into question their self-employed status.

MPs have called for a change in the law to prevent companies exploiting workers.

Employment expert Diane Nicol of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, who was appointed to the Taylor Review, said numerous committee's recommendations, including those on fines and enforcement, were in line with Taylor's recommendations.

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