Business leaders say recommendations on gig economy could push up companies' costs

Business leaders say recommendations on gig economy could push up companies' costs

Business leaders say recommendations on gig economy could push up companies' costs

By placing a new type of legal working status between employed and self-employed, the dependent contractor term could provide a half way house where the leap is far less severe.

And they will be covered by some of the minimum wage requirements.

But a Downing Street spokeswoman said she was not aware of any work within Government to make Britain a cashless economy.

The review has seen evidence that hourly rates in the sector are set at 1.2 times the national minimum wage.

These dependent contractors would be owed rights to holiday pay and sick pay.

The GMB union's general secretary, Tim Roache, told The Guardian gig-economy companies could pay workers better, but "simply choose not to".

"The use of "worker" carries associations of Victorian law of master and servant which to some are just too old school, and not fit for a modern industrial strategy", he said.

They would not subsequently be able to take action against the gig company for not paying the minimum wage, the review will suggest.

The report's author Matthew Taylor said the Government should accredit certain electronic payment platforms to encourage the move to a cashless economy.

GMB union general secretary Tim Roache said: "Given the epidemic of precarious work in the United Kingdom, this report simply does not go far enough in fixing a broken system that gives employers the choice of whether to treat their workers fairly or not".

One aspect of the proposals which may be easier to adopt and introduce, is to allow individuals to bring a claim questioning their employment status without having to pay the normal Tribunal fee and to place the burden of proof on the alleged employer to show that the individual is not an employee or a worker.

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Mr Taylor said this would be tackled by asking the Low Pay Commission to explore a higher minimum wage level for hours that are not guaranteed, and giving people the right to request fixed hours and permanent contracts.

A United Kingdom government review into the modern workplace has recommended a range of measures meant to help low-paid workers employed by companies like Uber and Deliveroo.

They have been criticised for exploiting the law on "self-employment" to keep costs down. The new category will likely to cover riders for firms such as Deliveroo and Uber.

"This is because such firms have utilised the grey area between fully employed and self-employed". However, it also looks at wider issues such as proper taxation and pension provision for individuals who work flexibly.

Stephen Cavalier, the chief executive of Thompsons Solicitors said the initial details for the review are "feeble and add another layer of unnecessary complexity".

The report will be published on Tuesday by Mr Taylor, the head of the Royal Society of Arts, and is expected to call for an overhaul of employment law and new guarantees on the minimum wage for the growing number of workers in delivery and taxi firms such as Deliveroo and Uber.

In a speech today, May said that banning zero-hours contracts "would harm more people than it would help". Because the report also concluded that dependent contractors are most at risk of being taken advantage of by businesses, it suggested that those who fall under this category should be granted additional protections.

By one estimate there are some 1.1 million people in Britain's gig economy — nearly as many as those who work in the National Health Service.

But the review has also been criticized for not going far enough, and failing to recommend concrete legislative changes.

"There are too many people at work who are treated like cogs in a machine rather than being human beings, and there are too many people who don't see a route from their current job to progress and earn more and do better", Taylor told the BBC.

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