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Head of UK’s pension regulator calls for gig economy firms to set up workplace pensions

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The head of the UK’s pension regulator, Charles Counsell, has called on gig economy firms to put in place pensions for those working on their platforms and to recognise employment rights.

During a podcast on The Pensions Regulator Talks, Charles Counsell, said the Government-backed body was already working closely with Uber on a workplace scheme after a Supreme Court found the ride-hailing firm’s private-hire drivers should be classed as workers, with rights to minimum hourly pay, holiday pay and a pension.

After the ruling, Uber agreed that its 70,000 UK private-hire drivers would be recognised as employees with minimum hourly pay and a pension.

Charles Counsell said during the podcast discussion: “I am going to call on other organisations in the gig economy to start to recognise that the people who work for them are workers and should be eligible for a pension.

“It is all about helping people working in the economy to have a decent standard of living in retirement and I really encourage those in the gig economy to take a stance and start putting their workers into pensions. Lets not deal with this on a case-by-case basis.”

Speaking alongside Counsell, MP Stephen Timms, who chairs parliament’s work and pensions select committee, said: “I’m pleased that Uber is constructively implementing that decision [of the supreme court].

“Others like Deliveroo ought to be doing the same.”

He said that gig workers would see “significant benefits” from a change to worker status.


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