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Gig economy firms ‘let off’ in shake-up

FIRMS in the gig economy will be ‘let off the hook’ by a report into workers’ employment rights, unions warn.

The government-ordered review is set to call for a new category of worker, called a ‘dependent contractor’, who will receive benefits such as sick pay and holiday leave.

The workers — in delivery and taxi firms such as Deliveroo and Uber — will also be covered by some minimum wage requirements.

But union leaders claimed the report — led by former Tony Blair adviser Matthew Taylor and published tomorrow — was ‘tinkering around the edges’.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘If these proposals are true, gig economy employers are being let off the hook. Creating a new “dependent worker” category would be caving in to special pleading from platform companies who pretend that they cannot pay the minimum wage.

‘We know from union wins in the courts that Deliveroo and Uber should be paying their workforce the minimum wage now, and guaranteeing them basic rights like paid holiday and breaks.’

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: ‘Current employment laws are sufficient — the issue has been one of lack of enforcement. Unscrupulous employers are ignoring the rights which workers already have.’

A spokesman for the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain added: ‘The point of this review should be to figure out how to make things better for these workers, not worse.’