Labour has argued that this change would provide all staff with security at work. 

The Labour Party has announced plans to create a single status of “worker” for all, excluding the self-employed, which would provide workers’ rights from day one on the job.

Currently, there are three different employment categories within employment law- namely, worker, employee or self-employed.

These categories impact the different rights received including National Minimum Wage, paid holiday, parental leave, the right to claim unfair dismissal and apply for flexible working.

However, plans carried out by Labour would see the three categories rolled into a single category of “worker”.

This, the Party argued, would remove qualifying periods for basic rights and protections to give workers day one rights in the job.

This would also mean that all workers would receive rights and protections including Statutory Sick Pay, National Minimum Wage entitlement, holiday pay, paid parental leave, and protection against unfair dismissal.

It is estimated that this could lead to an extra 6.1 million people receiving Statutory Sick Pay (who are currently excluded on the basis of earning less than £120 a week).

This follows key cases concerning the gig economy, including Uber and Deliveroo drivers, leading to a rise in disputes concerning the employment status of the claimant.

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights and Protections Secretary, said:

Millions of workers are in insecure employment with low pay and few rights and protections, particularly key workers whose efforts got the country through the pandemic.

A lack of basic rights and protections forces working people into poverty and insecurity. This is terrible for working people, damaging for the economy, and as we have seen throughout the pandemic, devastating for public health.

We need a new deal for working people. Labour would ensure that all work balances the flexibility workers want with the security they deserve.