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Your thoughts: workers’ rights promises achievable?

Robert Holland, Partner and Head of Employment examines the current political views on temporary workers’ rights as part of this month’s edition of Lawyer Monthly. 
He comments:-
What has traditionally been the preserve of Labour policy making has seen a somewhat startling move by the Conservative Party to claim the mantle of protector of the rights of the million or so workers in the UK who are on irregular, temporary or freelance contracts.
Along with high profile cases such as Pimlico, and the GMB backed Uber case, where drivers won entitlement to holiday pay, it would seem that the courts are also backing the rights of those who don’t work in the traditional manner.
Yet for many “Zero hours ” contractors as the media like to label them, a court win or Political promise may seem small comfort. Without union backing or funding, they are reluctant to challenge multinational corporates who declare that no holiday pay is due, and feel helpless when their right to paid leave is denied.
But here is the rub. Unlike “gig” workers, if those on a zero-hours contract accept an assignment, for however long, they are automatically due holiday pay for the duration of that contract.It is still a common misconception, perhaps propagated by large corporates, that the right to holiday pay needs to be won.
For millions, they have it already in the nature of their contract.  Indeed, following Bear Scotland v Fulton UK EAT 47/13, the amount of pay should include variables like overtime and commission.
It seems that despite the spotlight, a certain ambiguity still prevails. It is time that the rights of our temporary workers are spelled out clearly and not swallowed up by political sound bites and forgotten once an election is over.
To read the full article click here.