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Protect workers in the gig economy

Last updated: 07:03pm 15 February 2019

We will make sure that people working in the ‘gig’ economy are properly protected.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.16

Our verdict

The gig economy refers to organisations who engage workers via short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.

In October 2016, the government commissioned an independent review of the changing labour market, promising to build on its recommendations in order to protect workers’ rights, including those of workers in the ‘gig’ economy. The report highlighted a number of issues in the British labour market, including low productivity growth, slowdown in real wage growth, increased income insecurity due to more flexible forms of work, regional wage and employment rate imbalance, as well as disparities by gender, ethnicity and age.

In February 2018 the government published it’s response to the review which accepts “a vast majority of the recommendations”, and since then has published its Good work plan which includes consultations on how to implement the recommendations.

So with the government backing many of the recommendations on worker protection within the gig economy, this policy is ‘in progress’. Before we can consider this as ‘done’ we’ll need to see new laws in place, and confirmation that the new measures do keep gig economy workers “properly protected”. Follow this policy for updates.

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