Gig-Economy

Gig Economy Bombshell: Worker By Default Bill Incoming

21 Nov

Post by Expedite

Posted in: Employee Benefits, Working Futures

Gig Economy Bombshell: Worker By Default Bill Incoming

The gig economy has had a lot of upheaval of late with Uber and Deliveroo both getting different ruling on the status of their workers as self-employed and staff respectively. Now a new bill has been drafted to offer a more stable status to gig economy workers. The Work and Pensions Committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee have created a draft bill that would assume a “worker by default” status. If the bill is passed into legislation that will mean that employers will have to offer basic rights required for staff including sick pay and holiday leave. Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee Frank Field MP said the proposed Bill would give the Prime Minister the “opportunity to fulfil the promise she made on the steps of Downing Street on her first day in office” and stop the “mass exploitation of ordinary, hard-working people in the gig economy”. He went on to say: “The Bill would put good business on a level playing field, not being undercut by bad business. It is time to close the loopholes that allow irresponsible companies to underpay workers, avoid taxes and free ride on our welfare system.” However, Sarah Ozanne, an employment lawyer with law firm CMS, commented: “The proposed ‘worker by default’ regime places the burden on businesses and risks reformulating the existing quagmire of what is genuine self-employment.” Other recommendations made by the committee include clearer statutory definitions of employment status, pay premiums for non-guaranteed hours workers, rights guaranteed for after a long break in service, written statements of employment particulars, plus tougher enforcements and fines for repeat offenders.

The gig economy has had a lot of upheaval of late with Uber and Deliveroo both getting different ruling on the status of their workers as self-employed and staff respectively. Now a new bill has been drafted to offer a more stable status to gig economy workers.

The Work and Pensions Committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee have created a draft bill that would assume a “worker by default” status.

If the bill is passed into legislation that will mean that employers will have to offer basic rights required for staff including sick pay and holiday leave.

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee Frank Field MP said the proposed Bill would give the Prime Minister the “opportunity to fulfil the promise she made on the steps of Downing Street on her first day in office” and stop the “mass exploitation of ordinary, hard-working people in the gig economy”.

He went on to say: “The Bill would put good business on a level playing field, not being undercut by bad business. It is time to close the loopholes that allow irresponsible companies to underpay workers, avoid taxes and free ride on our welfare system.”

However, Sarah Ozanne, an employment lawyer with law firm CMS, commented: “The proposed ‘worker by default’ regime places the burden on businesses and risks reformulating the existing quagmire of what is genuine self-employment.”

Other recommendations made by the committee include clearer statutory definitions of employment status, pay premiums for non-guaranteed hours workers, rights guaranteed for after a long break in service, written statements of employment particulars, plus tougher enforcements and fines for repeat offenders.