Government must not abandon “castaway” key workers

Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government for failing to stick up for a “castaway” group of key workers.

In an amendment to the Government’s Finance Bill, the party has demanded a review within six months on supply chain staff, zero-hours workers and those who have worked from home.

Delivery drivers and other gig economy workers have been “overworked and undervalued” throughout the pandemic, with the latest insult being the absence of the Employment Bill from the Government’s legislative agenda for the year.

The Liberal Democrats want the review to lead to improved working conditions for those in the gig economy and to protect employees working from home.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Business, Trade and Transport, Sarah Olney said: “So many workers in this pandemic have not stopped, proudly keeping our nation moving with essential activity like delivering food. But despite being labelled as key workers, many gig economy workers feel castaway by this Government as they continue to be subject to awful working conditions and low pay.

Sarah Olney MP

“Liberal Democrats are demanding a review into the impact of the Government’s inaction on these overworked and undervalued key workers.

“Reports of workers being under so much pressure to meet targets that they are forced to skip toilet breaks and working excessive hours just to put food on the table should shame the Government.

“Every worker has the right to fair pay and fair treatment in the workplace, especially those who have kept our country going during the pandemic. The Government must urgently bring forward legislation to protect these workers.”

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