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Durham University

Durham Law: Policy Engagement

Submission on Decent Work Regulation for the UK Visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (5-16 November 2018)

A submission for the forthcoming vist to the UK of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights (5 to 16 November 2018) has highlighted the intersection of poverty and labour rights and the need for effective labour regulation in the UK.

The submission - by Professor Deirdre McCann of Durham Law School, Principal Investigator of the Decent Work Regulation project - responds to the Special Rapporteur’s interest in how poverty in the UK intersects with economic and social rights issues.

The submission highlights the growth of highly casualised jobs in the UK in recent years, which are subjecting an element of the working population to highly variable and unpredictable incomes and can be considered unacceptable forms of work.

The submission concludes that it is essential to find new solutions to protect casual workers and to avert the risk of poverty. More effective interventions would include ‘framed flexibility’ mechanisms e.g. the prohibition of casual work in vulnerable sectors/occupations; notice of schedules and overtime; incentives for continuous hours; compensation for short call-out periods; and the requirement that in-shift travel periods be counted as working time (on the ‘framed flexibility’ model, see further Deirdre McCann and Jill Murray Prompting Formalisation Through Labour Market Regulation Industrial Law Journal 2014).

To download the submission, click here. The full set of submissions by UK academics and civil society organisations is available here.