Friday, September 17, 2021

Labour pledges to create a single status of ‘worker’ with rights from day one

“We need a new deal for working people," say Labour.

Labour has pledged to provide job security for all employees by adopting a single status of “worker” for everyone apart from the genuinely self-employed, with rights beginning on the first day of employment.

A single status of ‘worker’ would replace the three existing employment categories and eliminate qualifying periods for essential rights and protections, ensuring that employees have rights and protections from the start of their employment.

All employees would get rights and safeguards as part of Labour’s proposal to eradicate insecure employment; including Statutory Sick Pay, National Minimum Wage entitlement, holiday pay, paid parental leave, and protection against unjust dismissal.

When combined with Labour’s pledge to expand Statutory Sick Pay to the self-employed, this would entitle an extra 6.1 million working individuals to Statutory Sick Pay.

The proposal comes in the wake of a series of high-profile court cases involving the gig economy, in which the fundamental issue was whether the claimant was a worker entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay, or a self-employed individual.

GMB union march.
Photo Credit: “GMB”, © 2011 Nick Efford, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Commenting, Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights and Protections Secretary said: “Millions of workers are in insecure employment with low pay and few rights and protections, particularly key workers whose efforts got the country through the pandemic.

“A lack of basic rights and protections forces working people into poverty and insecurity.

This is terrible for working people, damaging for the economy, and as we have seen throughout the pandemic, devastating for public health.

“We need a new deal for working people.

“Labour would ensure that all work balances the flexibility workers want with the security they deserve.”

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