26th July 2017
The ‘Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’ published its findings on 11 July and employment lawyers, businesses and commentators are getting to grips with the implications of its recommendations.
The review calls on the Government to adopt the ambition that all work should be fair and decent, and makes a number of recommendations for improving employment protection for atypical workers.
In summary, the most significant points are:
Terms of employment
Information and consultation
Tax and national insurance
Tribunals and enforcement
A number of trade unions have condemned the review as a “wasted opportunity” given that, for example, it does not recommend a ban on zero-hours contracts, or scrapping tribunal fees entirely. Commenting after the publication of the review, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“It's no secret that we wanted this review to be bolder. This is not the game-changer needed to end insecurity at work.”
Neil Carberry, CBI Managing Director for People and Infrastructure, said:
“Spreading good practice, not just focussing on new laws, is something the CBI has long supported given the link between good employee relations and higher productivity, which is the only sustainable route to rising wages and better living standards. A number of proposals in the report will be of significant concern to businesses, however. Changes to the application of the minimum wage, rewriting employment status tests and altering agency worker rules could have unintended consequences that are negative for individuals, as well as affecting firms’ ability to create new jobs.”
The review makes some significant recommendations which, if implemented, could make a real difference to those on zero-hours contracts and the self-employed, and a number of the measures may well simplify the complex area of employment status.
However, with suggested action "ranging from specific changes in the short-term to longer-term strategic shifts", it remains to be seen which of the recommendations makes it onto the statute books. The Prime Minister said the Government would study the review’s contents carefully over the summer and respond in detail later in the year. The Government will have to consult on the recommendations before bringing forward new legislation and we will keep you up to date with the various consultations as they become available, possibly in the autumn.