Ahead of the publication of the long-awaited Taylor report tomorrow, (Tuesday 11 July) into workers’ rights in the changing economy, the country’s biggest union, Unite, said the urgency of the situation must be grasped as for too many work in the UK simply does not pay.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "The Taylor review is an opportunity to take a serious look at the forces driving the rise of insecure work and exploitation in this country.
"We cannot stress enough the urgency of the situation. Workers are being hit by a triple whammy of rising living costs, falling wages and increasing insecurity.
“We need better answers from government on this because for far too many in this country, the bald truth is that work simply does not pay.
“Workplace insecurity is being super-charged not by gig-working alone, but by the deliberate and bogus use of self-employment, by the continuing use of zero hours contracts and the misuse of agency working where there ought to be permanent employment.
“The denial of basic rights and a fair wage to growing numbers of workers is a scandal on a huge scale. It must be addressed.
"So it is vital that what emerges from this report brings much-needed clarity to workers and can support them in pursuing their rights.
“But it must also be substantial enough to put a stable footing under the growing numbers of workers for whom the monthly outgoings are ever-rising but their incomes are in constant flux.
“The onus must be on employers, not employees, to prove that the employment status is legitimately self-employed, for example, and we call again for this country to do as New Zealand does and ban abusive zero hours contracts.
“The message must also go out loudly and clearly to those employers who swindle their workforce that the law is coming after them and that working people will have justice.
“That is why Taylor’s recommendation must be matched by effective enforcement of the law. Without fully resourced enforcement then all we have from Mr Taylor and the government is a dog that is all bark and no bite.
"Lastly, the government must overhaul the welfare system. It ought to be there to support people as they move in and out of work but instead is a force for creating the impoverishment of working people.”
For further information, please contact Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.