Minimum wage protection should be extended to some of the UK’s self-employed workforce, according to a new report from the Resolution Foundation.
The report urges government to broaden the scope of the National Minimum Wage to the millions of self-employed workers who do not set their own prices.
The think tank says such a move has been made more urgent by the rapid rise of the so-called ‘gig economy’, in which mainly self-employed workers take on jobs for companies like Uber.
According to the report, which is part of the Resolution Foundation’s response to the Taylor Review on modern employment practices, around half of full-time self-employed workers in the UK earn less than £310 per week, putting them in the ‘low paid’ bracket.
In contrast, only around one in five of those in employment fall within the low paid category.
The report also points out that the self-employed will not benefit from the forthcoming introduction of the National Living Wage. It maintains that many self-employed people should actually be classified as ‘workers’, a category that provides greater protections, along with an entitlement to at least the minimum wage.
Beyond pay, the Resolution Foundation is also calling on the government to introduce further measures to protect the self-employed. These include extending statutory parental pay, and extending contributory Jobseekers’ Allowance to those who have paid Class 4 NICs for at least two years.
Notably, the report also calls for the reintroduction of the government’s scrapped plans to equalise the NICs rate for the self-employed. The plans were jettisoned after outcry from the self-employed community and press, but the Resolution Foundation maintain that such a move would actually be progressive, and would raise an additional £1 billion with which to fund further protections.
What do you think about the call for self-employed workers to get National Minimum Wage protection? Tell us in the comments.
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