Pensions - Articles - Gig workers missing out on employer pension contributions


Pensions - Articles - Gig workers missing out on employer pension contributions

He said the the prime minister could fulfil a promise to reduce inequality in Britain by backing a bill "that would end the mass exploitation of ordinary, hard-working people in the gig economy". Responsible businesses deserve a level-playing field to compete, not a system which rewards unscrupulous businesses.

Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the BEIS Committee, said that too much of the burden of flexibility in the gig economy is placed on workers and taxpayers. "It is time to close the loopholes that allow irresponsible companies to underpay workers, avoid taxes and free ride on our welfare system", Field said.

The Taylor Review, published in July, made a number of recommendations to employment practices and called for a new category of worker to be created called "Dependent contractors".

Two influential House of Commons committees are calling on politicians to prevent companies making "bogus" assertions that workers are freelance. The Report states that this presumption of worker status would only apply to companies who have a self-employed workforce above a certain size defined in secondary legislation - the Report does not propose what this threshold should be.

It says personnel should be classed as a "worker by default" to ensure access to basic rights such as sick pay because hundreds of thousands are now being "burdened" by risks associated with flexible working.

The GMB union also said it was disappointed.

MPs have put forward plans to close numerous loopholes in the law that have allowed the gig economy to flourish.

"The fact remains that without real investment in HMRC and a political will to get tough on rogue employers who are cheating the British taxpayer out of millions and reaping profits out of worker exploitation, then there will be no significant change", said the GMB's general secretary, Tim Roache, while allowing the proposals "may make a small difference".

The committee has also called for a loophole known as the "Swedish derogation" which means agency workers can be paid less than employees doing the same job, something the Taylor review had called for. It also suggests "punitive fines" for those who have previously been found to have broken employment law and "naming and shaming" for non-accidental breaches by businesses and supply chains.

Committee members called for harsher penalties in the expectation that the Government may not have the resources to ensure that employment laws are enforced.

She said that was why the government had commissioned Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of the Arts, to review employment practices.

Companies such as Deliveroo and Uber have been criticised by the select committees in the past for their employment model, which they say gives workers more flexibility to choose their own hours.

A BEIS spokesperson said the government would respond fully at a later date, but added: "We have record numbers of people in work thanks to our flexible labour market, benefitting both workers and business".