Guest blog by Shakira Joyner of HCHR
The BBC has reported today that the UK Government is looking at making changes to employment rights and to improving the conditions of millions of workers, including people working in the so-called ‘gig’ economy.
The BBC online news channel states that: “the changes include stricter enforcement of holiday and sick pay rights, and higher fines for firms that breach contracts or mistreat staff.”
Read more here – www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42959756
The gig economy is a “labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.”
In the UK it’s estimated that five million people are employed in this type of capacity which is classed as independent contractors.
Gig workers are usually those in jobs such as couriers, ride-hailing drivers and video producers for example. Those who are for the gig economy believe that these workers benefit from flexible hours, with control over how much time they can work as they juggle family and work life. There is no doubt that this flexible nature very much benefits employers as they only pay when the work is available, and don’t incur employee costs when the demand is not there.
On the negative side, gig workers have no protection against unfair dismissal, no right to redundancy payment and no right to receive the national minimum wage, paid holiday or sickness pay.
The government’s planned overhaul comes as a result of the Taylor Review published last July. However, the plans are going above and beyond the recommendations from the review and will include:
• The enforcement of holiday and sick pay entitlements
• Giving all workers the right to demand payslip
• Allowing flexible workers to demand more stable contracts.
So if you’re a business worker who routinely uses flexible workers within your organization, you need to seek advice and guidance on how to implement these changes.
HCHR is an experienced and professional independent consultancy working with SME’s across the UK to develop policies and procedures that protect employers from changes such as those outlined above.