Government Responds to the Taylor Review | Consultation Update
Date: 13th February 2018 | Categories: Employment law
On October 1st 2016 the Government commissioned an “Independent Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy” the Taylor Review as it became known. This came against the background of much publicity over the Gig Economy and zero hours contracts and its scope was described as “…………to consider how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business models. The review considered the implications of new forms of work, driven by digital platforms, for employee rights and responsibilities, employer freedoms and obligations, and our existing regulatory framework surrounding employment”.
The Recommendations of the Taylor Review
The review, which became known as the Taylor Review after the person by whom it was led (Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts) was published with its recommendations in July 2017. Now entitled “Good Work”, its recommendations include:
- Passing legislation defining who is an employee, a worker and self-employed and redefining workers as “dependent contractors”.
- Passing legislation to ensure those on piece rates (or gig workers) get at least the statutory minimum wage.
- Intervening to align tax status with employment status.
- Introducing a higher minimum wage for zero hours workers.
- Ensuring that agency workers are not paid less than permanent staff for the same job.
- Extending employee and worker consultation rights.
- Enforcing holiday pay and sick pay in a similar way to the enforcement of the statutory minimum wage by HMRC at present.
The recommendations of course were only that, ideas for the Government to consider. Its response came on February 7th, heralded by a press release proclaiming “Millions to benefit from enhanced rights as Government responds to Taylor Review of modern working practices.”
The reality in the main, however, is more consultation. Whilst the Government has committed to:
- Taking steps to ensure that all workers including casual and zero-hours workers receive basic rights from day one.
- Enforcing employer obligations in respect of holiday pay and sick pay.
- Guaranteeing the right to request “a more stable employment contract”.
- Defining working time for flexible workers so that they know when they should get paid.
- Ensuring agency staff get a breakdown of who has paid them and charges deducted from their wages.
- Asking the Low Pay Commission to consider higher minimum wage rates for those on zero hour contracts.
The Future for Employment Practices?
But as of yet there are no immediate plans to implement any of the recommendations. Instead, the Government announced that it is launching four consultations arising from the review, covering:
- The enforcement of employment rights;
- The recommendations re agency workers;
- Measures to increase transparency in the labour market;
- Steps to define employment status.
All the consultations will have closed by June 1st 2018 and whilst at present there are no changes of which employers need to be aware, there will be further Government reaction after that. At Wirehouse our expert team of Employment Law Consultants can provide support and guidance with any HR issues concerning self-employed workers. Contact us today.