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Burden of proof should be shifted to companies, says gig economy report

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A company should have to prove the employment status of a worker, and not the other way round, a report has claimed.

The report, published by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), said the burden of proof should be shifted to companies.

It said penalties should be strengthened against companies that attempt to prohibit employment status litigation.

The RSA also suggested that tribunal fees for employment status hearings should be scrapped.

Brhmie Balaram, senior researcher at the RSA, said: “Our survey – the biggest ever of its type – shows the potential for the gig economy to grow at great speed over the coming years.”

“In the short term, this means we must tackle the debate about the employment status of gig workers and clarify the law.

“But to truly transform gig workers’ experiences of the labour market, we need an approach that goes way beyond legal housekeeping.

“That’s why we are urging Government and the gig economy industry to collaborate and create a good work charter which sets out how gig workers can have fulfilling working lives.”

The RSA survey revealed that there are approximately 1.1 million people working in Britain’s gig economy.