Employers in the so-called ‘gig economy’ have recently found themselves in the spotlight again, after a report from the Work and Pensions Committee criticised them for utilising what the Committee referred to as ‘bogus’ self-employment practices

Committee’s Recommendations

The Committee raises a number of key points in its report, including:

Calls for Government to Close Loopholes

"Companies in the gig economy are free-riding on the welfare state, avoiding all their responsibilities to profit from this bogus "self-employed" designation while ordinary tax-payers pick up the tab,” commented Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee. “This inquiry has convinced me of the need to offer "worker" status to the drivers who work with those companies as the default option. This status would be a much fairer reflection of the work they undertake which seems to fall between what most of us would think of as "self-employed" or "employed".”

“It is up to Government to close the loopholes that are currently being exploited by these companies, as part of a necessary and wide ranging reform to the regulation of corporate behaviour," he added.

Shifting the Burden of Proof

The call to shift the burden of proof of employment status from the individual to the company has been echoed in a report by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

The report makes a number of recommendations that the RSA believes will make the gig economy ‘fit for the future’, including:

Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0.

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