This month, the UK Goverrnment published its long awaited response to Good Work, the Taylor Review’s independent report into modern working practices. That report, published in July 2017, made numerous proposals with the aim of securing fair and decent work for all. It covers many kinds of modern work – agencies, zero hours, contractors and the online gig economy.
The government have set an intention to act on the vast majority of Taylor’s 53 recommendations.
It should be noted, though, that this is a “plan” and isn’t a change in the law on employment status (at least not yet). The government have launched four further consultations to seek views on the potential changes. These consultations will take some time (the earliest closing on 9 May 2018, and the last on 1 June 2018). The consultations are broken down in to the following four categories:-
- Employment Status
- Measures to increase transparency in the UK labour market
- Agency Workers
- Enforcement of Employment Rights
We summarise the key actions that are “planned” by the Government:
- Enforcing vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay
- Day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip for all workers
- A right for all workers to request a ‘more stable contract’
- Ensuring unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker
- Introducing a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay Employment Tribunal awards
- Quadrupling Employment Tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000 and considering increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases
- Providing all agency workers with a clear breakdown of who pays them, and any costs or charges deducted from their wages
- Asking the Low Pay Commission to consider the impact of higher minimum wage rates for workers on zero-hour contracts
- Considering repealing laws allowing agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates
- Defining ‘working time’ for flexible workers who find jobs through apps or online so they know when they should be being paid
- Launching a task force with business to promote awareness and take-up of the right to request flexible working
- Making sure new and expectant mothers know their workplace rights and raising awareness amongst employers of their obligations
- A new campaign to encourage more working parents to share childcare through Shared Parental Leave
You can access a full copy of the response here.