The gig economy has been termed as the new modern work structure where the temporary position is prevalent, and also where there is an increasing norm in freelance work and organization offering short-term contracts to individuals (Meyer & CQ Press, 2016). The gig economy has been able to give freedom to individual workers but also has been ripe exploitation. In the United Kingdom, gig economy has been the center of media attention since 2015 where many individuals have been affected because of their engagements on behalf of with companies such as Deliveroo and Uber and where the current United Kingdom employment law does not adequately provide for this new model of work practice (Meyer & CQ Press, 2016). The gig economy has come up with some advantages but also carried along with it with many disadvantages regarding employment perspective and its effects on lawyers and their clients. This economy has raised many questions regarding the future direction of employment law. Others have argued that gig economy provides a great innovation and empowers entrepreneurs and workers while critics advocate that it subjugates the workforce and emasculates workers' moralities.Gig work has been the main economic income generation by the young people from the age of 16-30. At this age, study has already indicated that only 48% of them have other sources of income and the rest depend on gig jobs to sustain them. Since this is the case, many organizations have taken advantage by exploiting workers because they are never regarded as employees (Balaram, Warden & Wallace-Stephens, 2017 p. 25-26).
Many of the young gigs tend to earn less than the taxable threshold. Close to 40%f the people in the gig economy earn less than 4500 pounds per year which is an indication of how much they are exploited (Balaram, Warden & Wallace-Stephens, 2017 p. 25-26).
The current United Kingdom employment law classifies the employment status which is a contract of employment, worker, and employee in which different employment rights represent each of them. Predominantly, at the European Union level, there are also many laws that tend to respond to part-time workers, fixed-term temporary and agency employment. Even though this is welcomed, the laws struggle to respond to all the prevalence and characteristic of gig economy employment that is on the rise.
Suggestions have been proposed following the new regulations that emerge although the current legal problems are concerning the previous old challenges. The problem of organization and businesses including self-employment clauses into the contract has been there since the 70s (Butler, 2018). This has led to other rogue employers going further to draft and restructure employment to try and avoid basic legal norms. The new realization and application in many businesses have been the use of technology which has become a means of intermediation because of its variance, but the principal problems with attributing obligation are nonentity acquainted. The question arising is on employment classification that whether a driver at Uber or a delivery guy for Deliveroo is an employee. This is the question that is familiar to an employment lawyer. According to a recent report released by Alan Krueger and Seth Harris on the Hamilton Project which is a United States think-tank (Ainsworth, 2018), directed and submitted that gig economy workers are neither self-employed, nor employed, and so there was need for creation of an intermediate status to address the problem of workers and give them a basic set of rights. Although this is the case, the United Kingdom suggests, however, that this might not be the solution either. The United Kingdom law already has an intermediary grouping between the role of contractors and employees, and yet the problem of gig economy has not been solved.
A worker is a person who should be expecting to receive protection from the employer from protection against discrimination to minimum wage entitlement but when looking at the litigation between Uber and its drivers the employment tribunal indicates at this grouping of employment is no solution either. According to Ainsworth (2018 p.13), each nation has it's on legal equivalent that defines the legal and law for workers, but none of the states has come out to address the solution for the question of gig economy that has been presented by organizations like Uber and Deliveroo. There is a great significance when identifying employers but the representation of this platforms, then it is hard to identify who the employer is. When looking at Amazon and Uber or Deliveroo, have a task apportioning platform. From a legal perspective, the concept of the employers defines on how an employer will be held to account for multilateral situations. For instance, the organization or individual who sets the wage level should be the employer responsible. When a specific platform takes the responsibility of setting the wage level, it should be considered as the employer, and if another platform connects the worker and clients, then the client should be taken as the employer because they are the one to be given the responsibility for determining the wages. For instance, Uber is a platform that connects clients and workers and also determines the wage level then it has to be regarded as the employer.
The most significant issue on gig economy on the employment is that this organization should not be taken independently when it comes to tax law, the welfare state, customer protection, and other traditional legal issues. A large part of the picture is left when the employment matter is reduced to a gig economy issue. Many of the economic platforms are not only avoiding the employment law but also the customer protection duties (Meyer & CQ Press, 2016). When looking at the vicarious liability that was an old employment related doctrines, it protected all the individuals taking part directly and indirectly in an organization.
The problem of gig economy is still work in progress with many solutions coming into question with many jurisdictions experiencing the same. Some of the gig economy organization have expressed displeasure in their follow up suggesting that they should be left alone. Consequently, other industry-specific regulations have been proposed for instance ridesharing laws that will help govern companies in the transport network. There is need to be observant of "disruptive innovation" that it might not become a code word for defying the law with manipulation incognito technology. This is not an attack on technological innovation but rather a question of whether this value creation is provided in the business model of service or it is a value abstraction through governing arbitrage.
There is need to carefully develop existing frameworks and laws looking at definite protection for individual groups of workers and accumulating them to current structures. There is no need to reinvent another wheel for the vehicle but rather ensure that people are classified as workers receiving basic protection and minimum wage, and then it will give room to look at other problems that may arise. This does not mean that technology should not be embraced for instance the platform of rating functions for workers. If for instance the rating is taken as the property of the worker then Uber drivers can adopt this rating to lift up their bargaining power which is also an element of entrepreneurship. This technological culture is there to offer a solution, but it requires the right regulatory oversight and culture.
According to the Law Society, the government should engage to salvage the position of workers in the United Kingdom to support their rights and that people working in the gig market should be assumed to have employment status and so they should be entitled to rights of minimum wage and retirement pension unless the employer can demonstrate otherwise (Anderson, Brodie & Riley, 2017).
The key thing is that what is composed of the agreement does not decide work status. It's what is going on practically speaking that matters. Corrupt organizations working in the gig economy may purposely allude to an independently employed status in contracts, trusting that this will put individuals off from scrutinizing their rights, yet the courts look past the wording. Additionally, conditions in contracts keeping people from conveying claims if they wish to challenge their business status would doubtlessly be unenforceable.
In choosing status, the courts will have to look at what is occurring inside the association, and settle on a choice in light of the specific conditions. One of the huge issues for individuals working in the gig economy is that shift courses of action are ordinary, and there may not be a mutual obligation for the periods between the shifts. Anderson, Brodie, and Riley (2017) submit that the obligation on either side would more often than not exist once a shift is offered and acknowledged, as there would then be a guarantee of work and a guarantee of installment. Be that as it may, it may not emerge between the shifts if there is no obligation to offer a shift or consent to one. Anderson, Brodie, and Riley (2017) further indicate that this could imply that the individual isn't viewed as a laborer or representative for the mediating time frames. If that is the situation, they would not at that time, say that they can accumulate statutory occasions or clock up a benefit for the privilege to bring an out of line rejection guarantee.
As Butler (2018) suggests, regardless of whether the mutual obligation is discovered, different status issues could emerge, for example, whether the individual can send someone rather than them to take the necessary steps, and the topic of who is practicing control. V submits that the law should be looked into, given that an ever-increasing number of individuals are working inside the gig economy and missing out on rights. In any case, it will not be anything but difficult to roll out improvements. Since there will dependably be a mutual obligation for a legally binding relationship to exist. And if it cannot be found in those interceding periods between work, individuals will need rights. Likewise, the law needs to perceive the refinement between the individuals who are adequately controlled by an association, the individuals who have somewhat looser courses of action and the individuals who are really in business sacrificing rights for more prominent adaptability.There are a lot of legal benefits when workers are recognized and categorized by law. This is the only way that provides for the current position of work and also provides them with a minimum level of rights even when they are not recognized as employees. There is need to introduce workers status and should be preserved, and a new definition of a worker should be created to enable individuals to understand their rights and status and so they will have a less need to litigate for their status clarification. All the employees exist the employment law - workers, employees and self-employed contractors should be entitled to a unified set of rights.
In conclusion, Even though gig economy has been welcomed, the laws struggle to respond to all the prevalence and characteristic of employment that is on the rise. The United Kingdom law already has an intermediary grouping between the role of contractors and employees, and yet the problem of gig economy has not been solved. There is a need for the United Kingdom government to make changes to the rights and working condition that gig workers are entitled to. The legislator needs to execute a work plan that ensures vulnerable workers rights are protected. Gig eco...
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