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Gloucestershire Business News

Gig economy: Holiday and sick pay for millions

Millions of workers on zero-hours contracts will be entitled to sick pay and holiday review.

The government has promised an overhaul of employment rights to improve conditions for workers, including those in the gig economy, as reported by the BBC.

In response to last year's Taylor Review into working practices, the government says there will be stricter enforcement of holiday and sick pay rights, and higher fines for firms that breach contracts or mistreat staff.

The government says it is going further than the Review's recommendations by:

  • Enforcing holiday and sick pay entitlements
  • Giving all workers the right to demand a payslip
  • Allowing flexible workers to demand more stable contracts

But although the government says that nearly all the recommendations of the Taylor review will be adopted, unions say the plan will still leave 1.8 million UK workers without rights.

There are 1.1 million gig workers in the UK, with 18 per cent working in building and skilled manual work, 17 per cent working in cleaning and household services and just nine per cent working in delivery or courier services.

Reacting to the news, Richard Laughton, Sharing Economy UK Chair and CEO of easyCar, said: "Both the government and Matthew Taylor have rightly recognised that flexibility and fairness are important aspects of a successful UK labour market which works for everyone.

"We agree that modern employment law should keep pace with innovation and technology - helping enhance the UK's position as one of the best places in the world for sharing economy platforms to thrive and bring benefits for all users.

"Firms welcome the government's plan to develop a definition of 'working time' that is suitable for people finding work through platforms via a smartphone app or online. Many people hugely value the flexibility that platforms provide and have been able to participate in the employment market for the first time. Greater clarity on knowing when they are to be paid will help individuals make informed choices.

"Sharing Economy UK looks forward to working with policymakers in the areas it has highlighted for further consideration. It's essential that updates to the UK's labour market continue to promote entrepreneurship, encourage participation and maintain flexibility while helping to develop skills."

The government says it will now monitor and report on the quality and quantity of jobs in the economy, and take steps to ensure flexible workers know their rights.

It is also asking the Low Pay Commission to consider a higher minimum wage for workers on zero-hour contracts.

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