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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
February 8, 2018

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Gig economy

Government moves to protect gig economy worker rights

The Government has promised to strengthen the rights of millions of flexible workers in the gig economy.

The Department of Businesses, Energy and Industrial Strategy published yesterday its “Good Work plan” in response to last year’s Taylor Review into modern working practices.

Sick pay

In a statement, the Government said it planned to “go further” than last year’s review and introduce a series of new measures, including enforcing holiday and sick pay for vulnerable works for the first time.

It also plans to introduce a new right to a payslip for all workers, including casual and zero-hour workers.

And the Government has also committed to a right for all workers to request a more stable contract.

In addition, ministers also plan to introduce a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards.

Fines

It also intends to quadruple employment tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000 and look at increasing penalties bosses who have previously lost similar cases.

“We want to embrace new ways of working, and to do so we will be one of the first countries to prepare our employment rules to reflect the new challenges,” said business secretary, Greg Clark.

“The Good Work plan puts the UK at the front of the pack in addressing the challenges and opportunities of modern ways of working, it is an important part of the Industrial Strategy and will enhance our business environment as one of the best places to work, invest, and do business.”

Up their game

But the general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, said ministers need to “up their game” when it comes to protecting rights in the gig economy.

“The Government has taken a baby step – when it needed to take a giant leap,” said Ms O’Grady.

“These plans won’t stop the hire and fire culture of zero-hours contracts or sham self-employment. And they will still leave 1.8 million workers excluded from key protections.”

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
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Barbour EHS

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