Last week the Government released the findings of the ‘Taylor Review’, which looked at working practices of the modern economy in the UK.
The review was instigated to review all the various aspects of the current modern working world and review how employment legislation and practices are coping with this evolution.
The review was tasked with putting in place a Strategy to provide ‘good work’ for all. Their definition of good work encompasses the following:
- Fair wages
- Education and Training
- Working Conditions
- Work Life Balance
- Collective representation
The review also suggested that everyone should enjoy basic protections and be allowed to progress.
A large part of the review surrounds the recent controversies and ambiguities arising from what has become known as ‘the gig economy’. Recent cases have seen companies such as Deliveroo and Uber defending themselves in respect of cases which have been brought by their workforce, with the key questions relating to the status of that ‘workforce’ and the protections and entitlements they should be afforded.
The review concludes that those workers operating within platform-based companies such as those described above, should be classed as ‘dependent contractors’, rather than ‘workers’ or ‘self-employed’. The review recommends that there should be a new test for what defines a ‘dependent contractor’ hinging on the level of control that the contractor has on the services they are providing.
On a positive note for business and the economy, the review recognised the benefit of the gig economy for most workers, which allows greater flexibility than other forms of employment. However, it did determine that that clearer distinctions should be made between dependent contractors (such as those working for platform companies) and legitimately self-employed persons.
The report also calls for the Government to put strategies in place that allow those who currently earn the National Living Wage, to progress in the workplace, earn more and not be stuck on this base level of pay for the long term.
IMPORTANT AREA TO NOTE: At the moment failure to issue a written statement of terms; which could be a contract, can only lead to an award of compensation when included as part of another tribunal claim i.e. unfair dismissal or discrimination. Going forward the report recommends that there should be a stand alone right for individuals to make a claim in the employment tribunal for failure to issue a written statement.
Since the report is only there to make recommendations, there is likely to be a debate at a Government level as to what changes it will be implemented……. so we will continue to keep an eye on developments and keep you updated.
To read the Taylor Report in full: Click here
To speak to us about any potential impact in your business or any other employment matters please contact on our HR Consultancy Team on 01302 341 344.
By Kris Kerins Cert CII – Risk Services Adviser