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TUC calls on government to end “insecure work free-for-all”

The TUC is calling on the government to act on insecure work, as part of its response to the Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices, which is expected this week.


The Taylor Review is a government-commissioned, independent review by RSA chair Matthew Taylor. It looked at “modern working practices” and was published on 11 July 2017.


The Review, among other things, backed union calls to end the Swedish Derogation (which allows employers to pay agency than other workers for the same job) and highlighted the “many positive examples of the role trade unions can play in good employment relations.”


The trade union centre estimates that at least 1.8 million insecure workers are at risk of missing out on key rights, including redundancy pay, protection against unfair dismissal, and the right to return to your job after having a baby.


It said many more workers are missing out on rights because their bosses have wrongly classified them as self-employed.


Frances O’Grady, general secretary at TUC, said: “The insecure work free-for-all has to end. Agency workers are being treated like second-class citizens, getting less pay for the same work. And zero-hours contracts leave many workers unable to plan childcare or budget for their weekly shop.


“This will be a real test of Theresa May’s government. Does she even have a domestic agenda anymore? Or has her government been totally hijacked by Brexit in-fighting.”


The TUC is calling on the government to:

  • Ban zero-hours contracts to ensure workers get guaranteed hours, allowing them to pay bills and plan childcare;
  • Ensure equal pay for agency workers, by ending the Swedish Derogation which acts as an undercutters charter;
  • Crack down on bogus self-employment and ensure workers enjoy the same floor of rights as employees, including redundancy pay and family-friendly rights;
  • Allow trades unions to access workplaces, to support workers most in need of representation;
  • Increase resources and powers for enforcement, so that dodgy employers have nowhere to hide.
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