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Sharing Economy: Conditions of Employment

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 82109, tabled on 25 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to (a) regulate the gig economy, (b) ensure that gig economy workers are receiving pay for all working time and (c) ensure that unfair dismissals in the gig economy sector are being reduced.

Answered on

3 December 2021

This Government is clear that that everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work and rewarded for their contribution to the economy, both in terms of fair pay and fair working conditions.

An individual’s entitlement to rights at work is determined by their employment status, employee, worker or self-employed. Gig economy workers can be classed under any of these depending on their employment relationship.

Employees are entitled to all rights including being protected against unfair dismissal (subject to qualifying periods) and have responsibilities towards their employer. An employer needs to have a valid reason and take appropriate steps if they are to dismiss an employee. Employees who consider that their dismissal was unfair can complain to an employment tribunal, generally subject to a qualifying period of two years’ service.

Workers have more flexibility over when, how much, and where they work but they are entitled to core protections such as minimum wage and holiday pay. If any worker is concerned they are not being paid at least the minimum wage, they should complain to HMRC who enforce the minimum wage. HMRC consider every complaint they receive, and since 2015 have ordered employers to return £100m to 1 million workers who had been underpaid. We have doubled the budget for minimum wage enforcement since 2015.