12 December 2013

Other announcements in the Chancellor's recent Autumn Statement made the headlines but construction union UCATT has highlighted a hint that the Government may be ready to take on those firms using false self-employment to avoid tax.

According to George Osborne, the Government "will amend existing legislation to prevent employment intermediaries being used to avoid employment taxes by disguising employment as self-employment."

General Secretary of UCATT, Steve Murphy, said that hundreds of thousands of workers are having their lives blighted by being forced to work through payroll companies and other forms of false self-employment.

"Workers are denied holiday pay, sick pay and pension rights and can be sacked without warning," he claimed.

It is only by ending false self-employment that the Government will increase revenues and ensure workers are not denied even the most basic employment rights, Mr Murphy went on.

The union was much less happy with Mr Osborne's comments about changing the pension age to 70.

"This is a kick in the teeth to construction workers, many of whom are forced to retire before they reach pension age due to ill health and injury," Mr Murphy said. "More construction workers will find themselves in limbo, too old to work but too young to retire and will be forced into poverty relying on benefits to survive."