Shabana has written to the Business Secretary regarding the treatment of gig-economy workers in light of Covid-19.
Shabana was recently contacted by a constituent working in the gig-economy who had been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the lockdown the plight of those working in the gig-economy has worsened further, with many deprived of the usual rights given to regular employees.
In her letter, Shabana calls upon the Business Secretary to address the demands of gig-economy workers.
You can read her letter in full below.
Letter to the Business Secretary
Dear Secretary of State,
I am writing regarding the treatment of workers in the gig-economy in light of Covid-19.
I understand the Covid-19 crisis has presented significant challenges for businesses and employees across the country, with many companies left with no choice but to furlough their workers to secure their future employment.
However, the plight of those working in the gig-economy has worsened further, with many classified as independent contractors deprived of the basic rights regular employment provides such as a guaranteed minimum wage, entitlement to holiday pay, and the right to sick pay. The pandemic has highlighted how important these basic rights are to precarious workers.
I have recently been contacted by a constituent who previously worked as a food courier for Deliveroo, outlining his concerns for those working in the service industry as independent contractors. I agree with my constituent that those working as food couriers provide an important service supplying meals during the lockdown and ensuring restaurants and takeaways still have access to a wide customer base. My constituent believes that it is reasonable to expect these workers are adequately supported by the Government during the Covid-19 crisis, and that their basic rights and entitlements are strengthened.
In particular, he would like the Government to issue further guidance to the food delivery industry to ensure their employees are treated fairly and have safe working environment. He supports calls for adequate PPE for delivery and service workers, full pay for couriers and drivers who contract coronavirus, a halt on terminations during the crisis, and a minimum working standards guarantee.
I believe these actions would support the physical wellbeing and financial security of those working in the gig-economy for services that are predominately public-facing during the Covid-19 pandemic. They would also further secure the safety of customers and uphold good standards of public health.
Please could you outline what action the Government intends to take to ensure that those working in the gig-economy are given the support they desperately need, and that the calls of employees for better standards are met with the urgency they deserve.
Shabana Mahmood MP
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood