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Call for government to guarantee minimum wage for ‘gig economy’ workers.

10/03/2017

Call for government to guarantee minimum wage for ‘gig economy’ workers.

Minimum wage. Notice periods. Workers.

The Chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, Labour MP Frank Field, has urged the government to ensure that these ‘gig economy workers’ receive the national minimum wage. The proposed national minimum standard (which would automatically extend to all workers in the gig economy) would prevent employment tribunals and HMRC from having to determine whether people are genuinely self-employed. Gig economy workers would be automatically entitled to rights such as an equivalent to the national minimum wage after accounting for costs such as car insurance and at least four week’s notice from an employer of an intention to change working patterns or withdraw work.

This proposal comes amid recent decisions, which held that Uber drivers and cycle couriers (from the previous article) were workers as opposed to self-employed contractors. This proposal would ensure that these workers are entitled to the minimum wage, enable them to challenge intimidating working practices and receive four weeks’ notice before working patterns are changed or work is withdrawn.

It is likely this proposal will be challenged by the main gig economy companies, such as Uber and Hermes who have built their business models around self-employed contractors. These workers generally face a life of low pay, insecurity and exploitation and it is essential for this proposal to become law, to enable them to enjoy the basic employment rights.

For further information on National Minimum wage or employment status and self-employment please contact Joanna Alexiou on 020 3490 1475 or via email to j.alexiou@johnsandsaggar.co.uk