Gig economy companies ‘game the system’

COMPANIES with "gig economy" operations are trying to "game the system" to avoid their workers getting rights, says those workers' trade union representative.

Shortly before the publication of the Framework for Modern Employment report recommending strengthened right for all workers (see here), they won a victory, which the Freelance hopes will be temporary. A surprise judgement ruled that Deliveroo riders organised by the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain did not have collective bargaining rights as they were "self-employed".

The ruling came from the Central Arbitration Committee, set up by the Thatcher government in 1975 to, er, "regulate" trades union matters and disputes or, as it says, to "encourage fair and efficient arrangements in the workplace by resolving collective disputes in England, Scotland and Wales".

The hearing followed Deliveroo issuing new contracts saying that its riders could send a substitute in their place: this is one of the tests of whether a "worker" is self-employed or not. IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee said: "a so-called gig economy company has found a way to game the system."