Think tank suggests freelancers should be entitled to higher minimum wage

A recent report published by a Demos think tank, suggests flexible workers and contractors should be able to enjoy a higher minimum wage as compared to those who have a secure employment. Sources allege the report is financed by NatWest Bank.

An increased minimum wage will also motivate workers from the risks they face owning to unsecure earnings. Furthermore, this will also encourage trade unions and banks to administer benefits such as holiday pay.

According to author Ben Glover, self-employed workers do not have the security of a safety net which is taken for granted by several regular employees, these include maternity cover and sick pay.

“This bargain is only fair if self-employed people earn enough to cover the additional risk they take on, but too often in Britain today this is simply not happening. That’s why we are calling for a new, higher minimum wage for the self-employed,” he added.

Freelancers, self-employed workers and the ones who come under the so called gig economy such as agency, temporary workers, Uber taxi drivers, in addition to those working under zero hours contracts along with people having several jobs, all are part of flexible workers.

Demos does not suggest an hourly figure, but urges an investigation should be made by the Low Pay Commission.

Among others there are also recommendations on training from government and banks regarding managing finances for self-employed and for automatic pension contribution.

Sources allege, currently, the government’s National Living Wage is £8.21 an hour for workers aged 25 and over. For younger workers the National Minimum Wage is £4.35, or £3.90 on an hourly basis, and if they are a part of an apprenticeship.

Reports suggest, the Conservatives are planning to minimize the age limit for the National Living Wage to 21 and hence increase the pay to around £10.39 per hour by 2024.

Labour also pledges to introduce a £10 minimum wage in 2020 for employees aged 16 and above.