The Guardian makes some good points today about the need to ensure that employment law adapts to modern working practices. Developing the law to ensure that everyone is treated fairly while still allowing an appropriate degree of flexibility for both businesses and people working for them will not be easy. One of the key points made in this morning's editorial however is that since these issues most often affect low paid workers, the current tribunal fees regime makes it very difficult for them even to get a determination of their status under the existing law, a big problem in terms of access to justice.
What was once genuinely welcomed by employers and employees as flexible employment now looks much more like exploitation, made all too easy by an under-regulated jobs market. Nearly a quarter of the 32 million people in work fit this description of precarious employment; the biggest group among them are the self-employed, a definition that once suggested the budding entrepreneur or the local builder but now might also mean the Uber driver who picks you up at 2am on a Sunday morning. This is the kind of work that is undermining 100 years of confidence that children will do better than their parents, the belief that underpins social democracy.