The TUC has released a new report calling for a clampdown on the gig economy.
According to new research, almost half of self-employed adults aged 25 or over are earning less than the minimum wage.
“Self-employment can be a great option but it’s clear that it’s not working for everyone, with millions of self-employed workers stuck on poverty pay,” said the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady.
“Too many workers have been forced into sham self-employment – like at Uber and Hermès. It’s not about helping workers.”
“Theresa May promised to change things for ‘just about managing’ families but she’s done nothing. She should be cracking down on businesses that use sham self-employment. She should ban zero-hours contracts. And she should give agency workers the right to equal pay to stop undercutting and encourage employers to create more permanent jobs.”
The TUC has revealed that of the four million adults that are classified as self-employed, 49 percent (1.96 million) are earning less than the current minimum wage. Many of those who are classified as self-employed are working in the gig economy and only contracted to a single employer.
“The two million people in low-paid self-employment are part of at least 3.7 million people in insecure jobs. The other 1.7 million include agency workers, casual workers, seasonal workers and those whose main job is on a zero-hours contract,” said the TUC.
Uber and CitySprint are to face Parliament over the gig economy, where employers are called on to give workers minimum wage and holiday pay.
Frank Field MP, who is the chair of the work and pensions committee, said: “The inquiry will, I hope, shine a bright light on the extent to which justice is being evaded in the gig economy. We will be looking to suggest any immediate changes that are required, both to the law itself as well as its enforcement, to ensure no company is able to evade justice.”