That the self-employed are vulnerable workers is a debate that has rolled on for years. Without the same rights as employees, people working for themselves are at risk, often exploited and unprotected - or so the story goes.
But it seems this story doesn't quite stack up, if a recent survey from Contractor Calculator is anything to go by. An overwhelming 80% of self-employed respondents don't want any rights at all, and the self-employed are - by and large - happier off left alone, and without the extra burden and legislation that workers rights can come with.
Feedback from the 250 independent workers surveyed, revealed:
88% don’t want maternity or paternity rights
82% don’t want sickness pay
85% shun holiday rights and pay
75% don’t want to be forced into auto-enrolment of a pension
80% aren’t interested in extra rights to help out with grievances
94% don’t want restrictions on hours worked
These telling statistics come at a time when UK Uber drivers await the verdict of an ongoing employment tribunal which will determine whether the drivers for the American giant will be classed as self-employed or employees – and so automatically entitled to the minimum wage, holiday pay, sick pay and a pension.
Compared to Uber drivers though, the vast majority of the UK’s independent workforce are happier independent, and prefer operating in a way that gives them complete control, explained Dave Chaplin, CEO and founder of Contractor Calculator.
“It is clear from the results of our research that freelancers and contractors love the gig economy and do not want rights. Government needs to understand that media reports associated with self-employed couriers and drivers who are part of the gig economy do not paint the full picture of self-employment.
“There are thousands upon thousands of the self-employed working on a business to business basis who are very happy with the way they work and the last thing they want is further legislative burdens. They do not see themselves as vulnerable workers.”
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