Usdaw welcomes a proposed end to the loophole in the Agency Worker Regulations – known as the Swedish Derogation – that allows agencies to avoid equal pay for agency workers.
Usdaw represents courier delivery drivers and campaigns for them to receive the same rights as other employees. The Taylor Review advocates a new ‘dependent contractor’ employment status, which could be missing an opportunity to sufficiently tackle the growth of bogus self-employment. The Union also cautioned against re-introducing ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay, a system that was quite rightly outlawed in 2006.
John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary says: "The Taylor review correctly identifies a number of major concerns about insecure employment in the gig economy and highlights issues for zero-hour and short-hour contract workers. The Government must tackle employers who exploit precarious employment practices to drive down wages, circumvent basic employment rights and avoid paying national insurance contributions.
"We welcome the review’s recognition of the need for 'good work for all' and the requirement on government to deliver a national strategy. Strong industrial relations are at the core of delivering good work and trade unions have a crucial role to play. So we expect to see the Government adopt a more positive attitude towards the work of trade unions, end their legislative attacks on the way we operate and better understand that we are problem solvers not problem causers.
"The Taylor Review is a first small step in sorting out the problems of precarious employment and has focussed on some of the worst excesses, but we need to go further. The report outlines good recommendations on delivering equal pay for agency workers, with some interesting ideas on zero-hours and short-hours contracts that need to be explored further, but we need tougher action to tackle bogus self-employment in the gig economy.
"We hope the Government will engage positively with this review and deliver on the recommendation to replace the minimalistic approach to legislation. Warm words from the Prime Minister are not enough, workers in insecure employment need legislation to deliver employment protections and guarantees over the hours they work."
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion