TUC says employment rights need “beefing up”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

5 million UK workers now employed by outsourced companies, franchises, recruitment agencies, umbrella companies & personal service companies.

The TUC has said employment rights need “beefing up” to protect the rights of workers employed by outsourcing companies pointing out that such workers cannot challenge the parent company over minimum wage or holiday pay abuses.

The TUC has called on the government to give subcontracted workers in the supply chain the right to challenge the end employer.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department says plans had been set out to ensure employees, including agency workers, “benefit from enhanced rights and protections”. But the TUC estimates that five million UK workers cannot enforce their basic rights with their “parent company”.

General Secretary Frances O’Grady said labour enforcement laws “urgently need beefing up” to deal with the problem.”

The TUC’s research has found 3.3 million workers were employed through ‘outsourced companies’, 615,000 by ‘franchise businesses’ and at one million by recruitment agencies, umbrella companies and personal service companies.

The TUC said in such cases the employer using the service had a “duty of care” to the workers in their supply chains.

“This is an issue that affects millions, from fast food workers to people working on building sites,” said Frances O’Grady.

“Joint liability must be extended to parent employers. Without it they can shrug their shoulders over minimum wage and holiday pay abuses.”

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