The ‘Self Employed’ and the ‘Gig Economy’ refers to those workers who have temporary jobs or doing separate pieces of work, each paid separately, rather than working for a single employer. The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has now published the findings of its inquiry into these workers
The committee found that many employers operating in the gig economy are able to deny basic employment rights to workers who don’t have ’employee’ or ‘worker’ status, and often class their workers as self-employed so their contract doesn’t have to provide any benefits such as sick or holiday pay. The committee also found that there was nothing to prevent employers and workers opting for a self-employed contractor agreement rather than an employment contract to avoid paying tax and National Insurance contributions, which results in tax losses for the Treasury.
The committee has recommended that after the general election, the new Government should produce a plan for ‘equalising’ employee and self-employed National Insurance contributions and all workers should be given the employment status of ‘worker’ by default rather than ‘self-employed’.
The committee has also recommended that the incoming Government should review the minimum income floor in Universal Credit so that it supports and encourages entrepreneurship instead of subsidising self-employment. It has also suggested that the floor should not apply to self-employed claimants until the review has been completed.
Read more about the report on the parliment.uk website “Gig economy” – Companies free-riding on the welfare state