According to construction union Ucatt; British companies have been ignoring employment rules for 400,000 workers at a cost of £2 billion to the taxpayer with the government in full knowledge.
Ucatt said workers are registered by the companies as self-employed rather than as employees of the company. However, the union added, those workers have the same responsibilities and fixed hours as full-time employees.
According to the union under such conditions the firms’ bosses do not pay any national insurance, make no pension contributions and “self-employed” workers get no holiday or sick pay.
Ucatt said the workers have little choice but to accept the situation because work is offered on a “take it or leave it” basis.
The union estimated that 400,000 workers in the construction industry are affected, at a cost of £1.9bn to the taxpayer.
Some workers have worked for the same employer, full-time, for five years or more – but are registered by the employers as self-employed.