GMB Chief: IER Manifesto will help fight against bogus self employment

Submitted by sglenister on Tue, 26/07/2016 - 13:48

26 July 2016

General Secretary of the GMB Tim Roache says the Institute of Employment Rights' Manifesto for Labour Law - 25 policies for the next Labour government - will help in the fight against bogus self employment.

"Self-employment" has grown faster in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. It is now estimated that 4.6 million workers are classified as self-employed and that 51% of these earn less than two-thirds of a full time worker's median earnings.

In addition, many 'self employed' workers are misclassified as such - a trick abused by some employers to hire workers without adhering to employment legislation. GMB is currently fighting a high-profile case against Uber, as the taxi drivers working for the firm often do not make minimum wage. The company argues that it is not an employer, but the union has pointed out that Uber exert significant control over its drivers and that they should as a result be classified as workers rather than self-employed business people.

Tim Roache said of the IER's Manifesto: "We welcome this excellent contribution from IER to the much needed discussion on how to improve workers' rights.

The Manifesto starts by analysing the growth in insecure and precarious work, including a rise in companies misclassifying workers as self-employed so that they can shrug off basic responsibilities such as paying the minimum wage. GMB has been tirelessly fighting this dangerous trend, and we believe the Institute of Employment Rights? Manifesto for Labour Law would help us in this aim.

By more clearly defining the term 'worker' in the law, as proposed by the IER in its Manifesto, we can prevent employers from claiming those who work under their umbrella are 'self employed' when in fact the employer has significant control over them.

We also fully support the IER's proposal to negotiate a minimum standard for workers' rights at a sectoral level. Sectoral standards will offer certainty and security for workers and turn the tide of business competition based on bosses cutting corners around employment rights"

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