Recently, the spotlight has fallen on the status of being self-employed. Specifically, ‘bogus self-employment’.
This is where, workers are forced to state that they are self-employed or a sole trader in order to get the job. Then, they are treated as employees anyway, minus the benefits of holiday and sick pay.
For one plasterer, this bogus self-employment left him with a “life of uncertainty.” Specifically, he was earning more eighteen years ago than he was now due to bogus self-employment driving his wages down.
The plasterer, who did not wish to be named, told The Independent: “the worst thing, I think, is the uncertainty.”
“The uncertainty of getting your wages and the uncertainty of your future.”
“If you go to apply for a mortgage it’s a lot of hassle.”
“You’re just going from one place to another, you’ve no real rights, no holiday pay, all this type of thing.”
“A lot of people think construction is booming at the moment but it only is for people getting the big contracts.”
“There’s a massive divide between the prices they’re getting and the prices they’re willing to pay out.”
The Independent reported that People Before Profit’s Andrew Keegan felt that bogus self-employment “is often painted as a way for construction workers to pay less tax and earn more money, but in reality, its effects can be detrimental.”
He added: “It’s corruption as far as I’m concerned.”
“It’s massive exploitation.”
Unwillingly Keegan himself entered self-employment as he was struggling to find work as an employee. The costs soon began to mount though including buying his own equipment, insurance and safety certification.
He described: “by the time you took into account all the expenses, you were actually earning less than the minimum wage.”
“By the time you were finished, somebody in McDonald’s was earning more than you were and no way would they put themselves at the same level of risk or endurance as you would working in the construction industry.”
“I was caught by the biggest con going.”
So what do you think of this? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.