July 6, 2017
Certain self-employed workers in Europe should be paid the minimum wage, according to recommendations by the Resolution Foundation.
The thinktank has submitted the idea to Matthew Taylor’s review of modern working practices, claiming that about half of the 4.8 million people classified as self-employed earn less than £310 a week.
It suggests that in cases where self-employed workers’ pay is set by a business, those workers should have the same minimum wage protections as employed staff.
This would affect a significant number of “gig economy” employers, including those who accept work via technology platforms but have little control over the fees they can charge, such as Uber drivers or Deliveroo workers.
Conor D’Arcy, a policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “While a minimum wage would not be appropriate for the majority of the self-employed, for those who take work from firms or platforms and – crucially – don’t have control over the price they charge, moves to reduce exploitatively low pay for this group would be both meaningful and welcome.”
The Resolution Foundation also points to the fact that existing minimum wage legislation for those who do piecework offers a “useful template”, by requiring organisations to complete a test to ensure that a person working at an average pace could be expected to earn at least the minimum wage while carrying out the task.