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Government to overhaul 'gig economy' workers' rights

The government plans to launch a major overhaul of the right of workers in the ‘gig economy,’ including in areas of pay and flexibility.

Theresa May to end legal loophole that allows exploitation of agency staff

Significant changes are to be made to the UK’s employment laws, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, in an attempt to show her sympathies for the underemployed and lowly paid.

The Prime Minister intends to close a legal loophole that allows companies to pay agency staff significantly less than full-time employees for the same work.

The proposed changes could also give agency staff the power to request a fixed or full-time contract after 12 months of employment.

The business secretary, Greg Clark, is also reviewing the distinction between staff and self-employed workers that allows companies like Uber Eats and Deliveroo to avoid statutory benefits like holiday and sick pay.

Companies could also face being named and shamed if they fail to pay out in full after an employment tribunal, with the government hoping this will be a deterrent to companies that do not pay out the required compensation. According to recent data, more than a third of successful claimants do not receive their compensation while less than half are paid the full amount due.

Businesses had previously rallied against these proposals, particularly amid fears of an uncertain post-Brexit economic future.

The Labour party also announced similar policies at their annual conference in September, including giving workers’ representation on company boards.

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