19 April 2018
The Chairs of the Work and Pensions (DWP) Select Committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee have criticised the lack of government action on bogus self-employment.
In November last year, the Committees published a joint report and draft Bill that aimed to clarify the employment status of so-called ‘gig workers’, such as Uber drivers and Deliveroo couriers. Individuals carrying out work for such companies have been the centre of court battles over the last few years, with tribunals overwhelming finding them to be legally ‘workers’ (and thus eligible for employment rights such as the minimum wage and holiday pay), rather the independent contractors (eligible for no employment rights) that the firms claim them to be.
The Institute of Employment Rights analysed the Committees’ report and cautioned that the proposals put forth did not go far enough to effectively remedy the exploitation of ‘gig workers’.
However, the government has failed to act on even the modest proposals put forth in the draft Bill.
In an office response to the Committees earlier this week, the government directed the MPs to its underwhelming Good Work Plan, which the Institute of Employment Rights analysed here and our Chair John Hendy QC responded to here.
Chair of the BEIS Committee, Rachel Reeves, told the Guardian: “People in the everyday economy, from delivery drivers and warehouse workers to carers and retail staff, too often find themselves subject to levels of control and injustice from businesses who reap the benefits of this ultra-flexible business model without taking proper responsibility as employers.
“The government’s response to our committees’ work and the Taylor review is far too slow and ministers need to turn words into action and bring forward legislation urgently to make these changes, or throw their support behind the draft bill that our committees have proposed.”
Frank Field, Chair of the DWP Committee, told the newspaper: “It is disappointing that the government hasn’t picked up our bill and run with it.”