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The Taylor Review – Changing the Face of Employment

Taylor-Review-2
The Taylor Review was published on 11 July 2017 and considers how employment practices need to alter in order to keep in line with modern business models.

The review identifies seven steps towards fair and decent work with realistic scope for development and fulfilment and includes proposals for clarifying the law governing employment status and adjusting the scope of various employment protections.

A link to the full report can be found here.    

One of the report’s key recommendations is that workers for firms such as Uber and Deliveroo should be classified as dependent contractors and receive extra benefits not normally witnessed as a self-employed individual. However, it does highlight that the distinction Deliveroo - The Taylor Review - Pinney Talfourd Solicitorsbetween ‘employees’ and ‘workers’ should stay. Further to this, the review states that there should be a clear distinction made between dependent contractors and those who are legitimately self-employed, as the regulations on this currently aren’t always entirely clear and can lead to substantive disputes.

Historically, there have been three categories of employment status:

·         Employee

·         Worker; and

·         Self-employed.

The so-called ‘Gig Economy’ is here to stay; the report states that ‘flexibility in the workplace is important and contributes to record high employment figures throughout the UK’.

The review goes on to make a number of other recommendations for improving employment protection for non-employees:

  • Dependent Contractors should have the right to written statements at the start of their engagement.
  • The pay reference period should be increased from 12 to 52 weeks when calculating holiday pay for seasonal, casual or zero-hour workers.
  • Individuals should have the choice to be paid ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay; the review calculates that the right to holiday pay as being worth 12.07% premium on pay. If we take the National Living Wage of £7.50 per hour, the worker may choose to receive a rolled-up rate of £8.41 instead of time off.
  • Considering allowing flexible working requests to cover temporary as well as permanent changes to contracts.
  • Increasing the rate for the National Minimum Wage for hours that are not guaranteed by the employer.
  • Reserve continuity of employment where a gap of employment is less than one month rather than one week, as is the current position.
  • Agency workers should have the right to request a direct contract of employment after 12 months with the same hirer. It is noted that the hirer would be obliged to reasonably consider the request.
  • Allow employees to bring a claim at the employment tribunal without a fee to determine employment status as a preliminary issue prior to any substantive claim.
  • Zero-hour workers should be entitled to request a contract that guarantees hours which reflect the actual hours worked in the preceding 12 months.
  • Statutory Sick Pay should become a basic employment right comparable with the National Minimum Wage. 

The Taylor Review - Pinney Talfourd SolicitorsAs to enforcement, the review recommends that the HMRC should also enforce the right to holiday pay for low paid workers. They are already responsible for enforcing the right to the National Minimum Wage and Statutory Sick Pay, so this addition of responsibility sits well within their remit.

It is questionable what recommendations will be adopted by the Government; some of the recommendations could be implemented quickly, whereas others will need detailed consideration and work before implementation.

 

What we can be certain of is that the law governing employment status and employment protection is going to change and that, as a business, it is important that you keep abreast of these changes and consider carefully how they affect your organisation. 

 

MORE INFORMATION 

If you require further legal advice on the changes recommended by the Taylor Review, either as an employee or employer, please contact our Employment Department - our team of expert solicitors will be able to assist. Call on 01708 229444 or email us using our contact form.

 
This article was written by Alexander Pearce, Employment Law Associate at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of July 2017.
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