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Government review of workers rights an opportunity to deliver more security

2 October 2016

Theresa May has announced a new review into worker’s rights which could include new laws for self employed and temporary workers. Chancellor Philip Hammond has also called on businesses to build trust with consumers.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said:  “Many hardworking people don’t feel secure in their job.  

“We help with over 370,000 employment issues a year and basic rights at work is the most common issue people seek our help with online.  

“As increasingly new ways of working emerge, it is welcome that the government is taking a close look at how businesses operate and how employees are being treated to make sure workers’ rights are keeping pace.

“4.5 million people are in insecure work and face uncertainty about their pay and hours from one week to the next and some people are being forced to work as self-employed when they should be an employee. 

“It is really important the review of rights bolsters protections for people -making sure they get important rights around maternity leave and holiday pay.  There is a real opportunity for this government to bring greater transparency to how businesses operate - including asking firms to disclose the contractual make-up of their workforce.

“As well as looking at some of the practices around pay and employing staff - the government will need to consider how firms treat consumers in order to help build trust.  People are losing an average of £446 a year - equivalent to a week’s pay - due to failures such as poor broadband service, problems getting a refund and issues with their energy meter.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.