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MPs Hit Out at Companies Who Use Gig Workers

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 07 May 2017
It seems we are always hearing about the gig economy and gig workers these days, but not everybody is impressed, and this includes MPs.

During a recent meeting of MPs in the Work and Pensions Select Committee, it was agreed that many companies are using what they call"bogus self employment" practises, which ends up taking advantage of the workers.

Some companies that have been mentioned a lot recently include Uber, Amazon, and Deliveroo, with many court cases now happening around the country.

The main argument here of the MPs is that freelancers, or gig workers as they are also called, are being treated like employees but don't get any of the traditional benefits that a normal employee of a company would receive.

A spokesperson for the Work and Pensions Select Committee said "companies in the gig economy are free-riding on the welfare state, avoiding all their responsibilities to profit from this bogus self employed designation while ordinary taxpayers pick up the tab."

My opinion? In some cases I do agree, where certain companies hire workers on the agreement they are going to be employees, but then slowly start to take away their rights, to the point where they become a "reluctant" gig worker.

However, if the conditions of any job are set out at the beginning of employment, and both parties agree to it, then what is there to complain about? The vast majority of people actually want to be a gig worker or freelancer, so they can have flexibility to choose their own jobs and schedule.

It is something that a lot of MPs don't seem to understand, and is why they always appear to be against the gig economy, despite the fact that every week thousands more people in the UK are out there looking for gigs and freelance work.

This isn't going to end anytime soon, with some experts predicting that in 10 years time 50% of the UK workforce could be self employed and classed as a freelancer or gig worker.

Let's wait to see what happens there. Another area where MPs have spoken out against the gig economy is in regards to tax revenue, making the claim that gig workers typically pay less tax than a traditional employee, which in turn means less revenue for the government.

While it is true that self employed people pay slightly less tax, on average, than employed people, what MPs don't take into account is the fact that it is those same gig workers and freelancers who are going to be so crucial for the economy over the next few years, especially as the UK comes out of the European Union.

Some pundits have said that without the millions of freelancers, contractors, and gig workers working around the clock, then the UK economy just wouldn't be able to cope with Brexit, to the point where the UK might even want to become part of the Union once again.

I don't think British MPs would want to beg European politicians to be let back in, so perhaps they should go a bit more easier on gig workers and the gig economy.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is going to happen anytime soon, so get ready for more negative headlines about freelancers.

Most people won't listen though, and instead, will continue doing what they do best...gigs, jobs, and contracts, that keep the economy strong.

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