The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices – now published
The long-awaited Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, now called the ‘Good Work’ report has been published.
The review, undertaken by Mr Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts), was launched at the end of 2016 to assess working practices in the modern economy. Many of its recommendations concern the classification of employment status and the allocation of various employment rights following the recent high-profile ‘gig-economy’ cases.
Here are some key recommendations contained in the report:
- ‘Worker’ to be replaced by ‘dependent contractor’ and clarity to be given to distinguish dependent contractors from those who are legitimately self-employed.
- The definition of self-employment for employment law and tax purposes to be aligned, so that dependent contactors will always be treated as ‘employed’ for the purposes of tax status.
- Dependent contractors to have the right to a written statement of employment particulars at the start of their engagement, similar to the right currently enjoyed by employees.
- Individuals to have the choice to be paid ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay, receiving a premium on their pay instead of paid time off.
- Agency workers to have the right to request a direct contract of employment after 12 months with the same hirer. Similarly, zero-hours workers should be entitled to request a contract that guarantees hours which better reflect the actual hours worked after 12 months.
- The law on the National Minimum Wage (‘NMW’) should be changed to make it clear that ‘gig-economy’ workers will not have to be paid the NMW for each hour they are logged into an app where there is no work available.
There is no guarantee that any of the proposals in the report will be adopted, but it does provide insight into the possible future development of the difficult area of employment status. It seems likely that greater scrutiny will be placed on employment status in the future, both due to legislative changes and a growing awareness amongst workers themselves due to increased public debate.
Matthew Taylor published the findings of his review yesterday, 11 July 2017.
Employers should consider the status of atypical workers engaged by their business in light of the review to ensure that they are properly classified as self-employed or as workers.
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