Employment law overhaul takes account of gig economy

Employment law is getting a much-needed overhaul to protect the rights of people working in the gig economy, the Law Society of England and Wales said in response to new legislation announced today.

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said: “We called for laws that would prevent workers from being underpaid, overworked or mistreated – measures published today should go a long way towards delivering that.

“The gig economy has had a dramatic impact not only on how people work, but also on how employers interact with those who work for them.

“Until now companies have been able, intentionally or not, to use loopholes and the lack of clarity in the law to undermine workers’ rights.

“Clearer legal definitions of employees, workers and contractors will enable people to understand their rights more easily. A day one statement of rights will make pay and leave entitlements explicit for every worker, regardless of their hours or shift pattern.

“Agency workers can now be confident that they have a legally enforceable right to be treated and paid equally to colleagues employed directly by the employer.”

Matthew Taylor delivered his Good Work report on employment in July 2017, and the government responded by releasing four additional consultations, the last of which closed in June 2018.

Christina Blacklaws added: “With uncertainty over Brexit and the potential impact that will have on workers’ rights it’s heartening the government has prioritised modernising employment law, making it easier for people to understand and assert their rights.”

 

Credit: Harriet Beaumont | The Law Society

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