Seven months ago, we reported on the Taylor Review of modern working practices, with its focus on "good work" for all that is "fair and decent". In short, the review recommended extra protection for the UK workforce, ranging from clarity over employment status to extra rights on zero-hours contracts. This month the government has published its eagerly anticipated response to Matthew Taylor's 53 recommendations.
In summary, the government's response is threefold, in that it seeks to ensure: that vulnerable workers know about their rights; that workers receive the benefits and protections that they are entitled to; and that employers who breach workers' rights are penalised. Certain proposals actually go further than Taylor's recommendations, including:
- enforcing holiday and sick pay entitlements;
- day one rights – for example, guaranteeing a payslip for all workers including casual and zero-hours workers;
- naming and shaming employers who do not pay tribunal awards; and
- increasing employment tribunal fines (from £5,000 to £20,000) for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight and increasing penalties for "repeat offender" employers.
Nevertheless, some of the proposals, such as introducing "a more predictable contract" clearly need further clarification. Hopefully, this will emerge from the four consultations the government has since launched, which will consider:
- employment status;
- increasing transparency in the labour market;
- agency and atypical workers; and
- enforcement of employment rights.
These consultations close in May/June 2018 and it is widely thought that it will be the responses to these that will reveal the real response to Taylor. We will keep you updated.
The government's full response can be accessed here.