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Sharing Economy: Conditions of Employment

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL1570, tabled on 29 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to enhance workers' rights in the gig economy; and what steps they are taking to provide more clarity to businesses over employment status criteria.

Answered on

13 July 2021

The UK has one of the best employment rights records in the world. We have made good progress in bringing forward measures that add flexibility for workers while ensuring the protection of employment rights, such as banning the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

Gig economy workers’ employment rights are determined by their employment status - employee, worker or self-employed. Employees are entitled to all rights (subject to qualifying periods) and have responsibilities towards their employer. So-called “limb (b) workers” are only entitled to some rights such as the National Minimum Wage but have increased flexibility and fewer obligations to their employer. The self-employed generally have no employment rights but have complete flexibility in their work. We believe our three-tiered Employment Status structure provides the right balance for the UK Labour Market.

The Government will continue to work closely with businesses, trade unions and other groups to ensure that any options to clarify Employment Status are effective, preserving the flexibility of the labour market while making it easier to understand for individuals.