Taylor Review: What does the Government response mean for employers?
On the 7 February, the Government published its full response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. The Taylor Review was an independent review into the British labour market commissioned by the Government and published back in July 2017.
One of the main focuses of the Taylor Review was the gig economy and the lack of clarification surrounding the status and quality of work of flexible workers - see our summary here.
The Government’s proposals are clearly in line with the recommendations set out in the Taylor Review, but we do not yet know whether any of these proposals will make their way into legislation.
What is the government proposing to do?
Key measures the Government has proposed to implement are:
Providing a list of day one rights for all workers including casual and zero hours workers such as holiday pay and sick pay;
A new right to an itemised payslip for all workers;
Introducing a right to request a contract with more predictable and secure working conditions for workers (including zero hours and agency workers);
Providing agency workers with a clear breakdown of pay, including who pays them, and any costs or charges that have been deducted from their wages;
Discussing the impact of a higher minimum wage rate for zero hours workers with the Low Pay Commission; and
Naming and shaming employers who do not pay Employment Tribunal awards.
Whilst the proposals provide more rights for workers, the detail behind the proposals is not clear - at this stage, we do not know when or how these proposed changes will be implemented.
What consultations are going to be taking place?
The Government has announced that it will consult on four issues:
Enforcement of employment rights;
Agency workers; and
Measures to increase transparency in the UK labour market.
The consultations close in May and June and therefore significant reform before late this year is unlikely.
The proposal to equalise national insurance for employees and the self-employed is the only recommendation which the government has confirmed will not be taken forward. The suggestion is that all other recommendations of the Taylor Review will be explored and potentially implemented in one form or another.
Although there is clear approval of the Taylor Review recommendations and an acknowledgment from the Government that more needs to be done, these recommendations are unexciting and there is no guarantee that legislation will be implemented.
The Unions have already expressed disappointment that these measures do not go far enough. It will be some time until we have a better understanding of how the government is going to address the concerns raised in the Taylor Review, and we are not much further forward in understanding how these changes will work in practice.
For more information, please contact Rebecca Jorgensen, Head of Employment.
Published: 16 Feb 2018