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Inquiry Into The Future World of Work

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee recently launched an inquiry into the future of the world of work and the rights of workers. The gig economy is a frequently used term, particularly at the moment, to describe the growing trend in temporary, short-term work and the tendency of some businesses to prefer engaging self-employed contractors, as opposed to workers or employees. The fact that self-employed contractors and workers have fewer rights than employees is a growing cause of concern for many and was recently the subject of high profile litigation involving the taxi app, Uber. In this case, two claimant drivers were found to be workers, rather than self-employed contractors, thus giving them the benefit of rights such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage. Rights to which Uber argued they weren’t entitled.

The Committee’s inquiry covers a number of areas and asks for comments on questions such as:

  • What should be the status and rights of agency workers, casual workers and the self-employed… for the purposes of tax, benefits and employment law?
  • What specific provision should there be for the protection and support of agency workers and those who are not employees?
  • Is there any evidence that businesses are treating agency workers unfairly, compared with employees?
  • Should there be steps taken to constrain the use by businesses of agency workers?

The inquiry is asking for written submissions by Monday 19 December 2016.

The results of this inquiry will undoubtedly make interesting reading. The current focus on this area could well result in major reforms being made to employment law as we know it, particularly in relation to the rights and status of atypical workers.

Paul Chamberlain of Brabners LLP will be holding a seminar entitled The Future World of Work to discuss the possible implications of the inquiry on Tuesday 13th December 2016. Please visit to book onto the seminar.

This bulletin is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose.

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