The long awaited Taylor Review of modern employment practices was published on 11th July 2017. The report, which was commissioned by Theresa May towards the end of 2016, seeks to undertake a wide-ranging review of employment legislation and practice in light of recent changes in the modern workplace including the so-called “gig economy”.
The review calls for a “significant shift in the quality of work in the UK economy” and the full recommendations can be found here
The review focuses on several key recommendations intended to address the low quality work in the flexible contractor market, reduce exploitation of these workers and to address the tax dodge associated with this work:
So what next?
15% of the workforce is now self-employed which has led to a large number of positive developments and opportunities for workers, employers and the wider UK economy, as well as the ‘explosion’ in the gig economy. The recently elected Government must think carefully before making any significant changes to employment rights. Any regulation changes must be equally fair to both the individual contractors and employers and continue to offer the flexibility and opportunities that all parties are currently benefiting from.
Employers concerned as to how these recommendations may affect them should review their recruitment policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the law, paying particular attention to issues that may arise from taxation; whether that be as a result of IR35 or in fact not paying national insurance contributions due to confusion over whether the person is self-employed or actually an employee.
It is also imperative that employers issue written terms and conditions to these workers clarifying pay rates, hours of work, role and responsibilities, sickness provisions, holiday entitlement and health and safety and equal opportunity policies. It is also no good having a succession of fixed term contracts either to get around the law as after the fourth renewal of a fixed term contract it will be deemed to be a permanent employee.
Lastly, the report also states that will be no material change in the Employment Tribunal fees which were recently introduced. The decline in the number of Employment Tribunal applications has suggested a perceived balance of power to employers. The report states that the Government should keep it under review.