Opinion

The Taylor Review

15th January 2018

In 2016 Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts was commissioned to conduct an independent review into working practices in the modern economy.

The overriding ambition of the review was that ‘all work in the UK economy should be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment’.

In July 2017 the Review of Modern Working Practices was published, this is known as the Taylor Review. The Government have now issued ots response to the 53 recommendations which were contained in the Taylor Review.

The government has accepted the following recommendations:

-      There is a lack of clarity and certainty regarding the tests for employment status

-      The current three-tier approach to employment status in employment rights should be retained as it remains relevant in the modern labour market

-      An online tool could be useful in helping determine employment status.

There are no proposals about how they are going to achieve greater certainty and clarity, but they have launched a further consultation into employment status. The consultation asks 64 questions covered over seven different areas:

-      Issues with the current employment status regimes

-      Legislating the current employment status tests

-      Whether there could be an improved employment status test

-      The worker employment status for employment rights

-      Defining working time for the purposes of National Minimum Wage

-      Defining ‘self-employed’ and ‘employers’

-      Alignment between tax and rights.

One of the questions asked is whether employment and worker status should be codified in legislation as it is currently contained and regulated in case law. The consultation then also asks how this should be done. There are likely to be future changes in working practices so it would need to remain flexible.

It seems that even the current tests may need to be modified to adapt to current working practices and the consultation asks whether they should be modified or even replaced. The consultation therefore addresses the issue around certainty and clarity, but it has just proposed more questions asking for further opinions around it rather than putting forward any real idea of how they intend to deal with it.

The consultation is asking for views on the potential alignment of employment status for tax and employment purposes, although it does not offer any real ideas on how they propose to go about this given they are looking to keep the three tier-approach to employment rights.

There have also been consultations launched on:

- Enforcement of employment rights recommendations

- Agency worker recommendations

- Measures to increase transparency in the UK labour market.

The consultation closes at 11:45 on 1 June 2018 so we will have to wait until then to see the outcome.

 

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