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


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

Workers should not be faced with a choice between not working or working for below minimum wage, it said. The two companies want this loophole to be closed, since they're of the impression that companies categorise staff as self-employed to unfairly keep labour costs down.

"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", Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said.

Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, said the draft bill "would end the mass exploitation of ordinary, hard-working people in the gig economy" and would "put good business on a level playing field, not being undercut by bad business".

The influential House of Commons committees, for work and pensions and for business, energy and industrial strategy, called on politicians to prevent companies making "bogus" assertions that workers.

A group of cross-party MPs are seeking to to introduce new rules for the gig economy aimed at giving Uber drivers, Deliveroo riders and others greater protections when working.

The government asked Matthew Taylor to lead its review of modern employment practices. "Responsible businesses deserve a level-playing field to compete, not a system which rewards unscrupulous businesses".

Whilst the report is considered to be going in the right direction, unions fear there is still a long way to go.

The GMB union also said it was disappointed.

Past year two Uber drivers won a tribunal case demanding to be classified as "workers" rather than self-employed contractors, and while Uber has been appealing that decision it has yet to succeed.

"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", said the GMB's general secretary, Tim Roache, while allowing the proposals "may make a small difference".

The draft bill proposes to close existing loopholes and clamp down on organisations that now do not pay the national minimum wage and holiday pay by classing workers as independent contractors. It also suggests "punitive fines" for those who have previously been found to have broken employment law and "naming and shaming" for non-accidental breaches by businesses and supply chains. Now, people are put on zero-hour contracts providing no guarantee of actual work or turned into independent contractors, handing the duties of the employer over to the employee. They also call for more resources to be allocated to the Director of Labour Market Enforcement.

A Business Department spokesman responded: "We have record numbers of people in work thanks to our flexible labour market, benefiting both workers and business". Alternatively, companies will have to prove that their working practices genuinely mirror self-employment.



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