We need a review into the gig economy led by workers themselves

Charles Platiau  Reuters
Food app Deliveroo has become emblematic of problems within Britain's'gig economy

Charles Platiau Reuters Food app Deliveroo has become emblematic of problems within Britain's'gig economy

While 77 per cent of people prefer full-time work, two-in-five people polled said stronger employment rights would encourage them to try gig roles, with key concerns including low pay, poor job security, and a lack of benefits such as holiday and sick pay, the report said.

"The retail industry in the United Kingdom employs 2.7 million people and this news is encouraging regarding career development, engagement and also increased job satisfaction from a number of these different recommendations from the report". "It should not be as hard as it is now for ordinary people or responsible employers to seek clarity on employment status". He also states that there needs to be a particular focus between worker status and self employed status as it is here "where there is a greater risk of vulnerability and exploitation".

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she would improve rights for those working in the so-called gig economy, a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work.

Following separate tribunal hearings the status has already awarded to several Uber drivers last year, one rider for courier firm CitySprint earlier this year and is being demanded by a group of Deliveroo riders awaiting a tribunal hearing verdict. "This should retain the best elements of case law and better reflect the reality of modern day casual work in terms of the control exercised by employers over their staff".

They would also, if Mr Taylor's recommendations were implemented fully, be treated as employees for tax purposes.

"The world of work is changing and I think it is only right that employment law and practices change".

"What we've seen so far is tinkering around the edges and creating more loopholes employers will inevitably exploit. They won't decide to do so just because they're asked nicely", he said.

Although Taylor told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the report did not go as far as calling for tribunal fees to be scrapped, it did advocate some big changes to the system, including introducing a mechanism where people can have their employment status determined without having to pay tribunal fees. But the United Kingdom faces a productivity puzzle.

This one is easier: if you work for a firm, doing fixed hours and following your employers' direction, you're employed.

"'The British way' works and we don't need to overhaul the system", proclaims the review.

Those gig economy workers providing services through platform based models would be entitled to national minimum wage calculated in a manner similar to the current "piece work" rules (where wage level is worked out based on productivity and output levels rather than hours of work).

Nearly exactly a year ago, driven by her now-departed adviser Nick Timothy, blue-collar Conservativism was the big pitch: her first speech stressed the issue of "job security" and an "economy that works for everybody" to tempt Labour voters.

"Unscrupulous employers are ignoring the rights which workers already have and are not paying their fair share of taxes". The recommendation is that being employed for tax purposes would cover both employees and dependent contractors.

Beyond full employment, in short, the goal should be to maximise "good work". "The costs to the Exchequer are also significant and increasing, which may prompt the government to act, and there seems to be a momentum building for reform", he said.

Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, proposes that the employment status "worker" should be renamed "dependent contractor", but how that is defined should remain unchanged.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn agreed it was "obviously" wrong for cash payments to be used as a means of avoiding tax, and said he would like to see the practice phased out.

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