The Taylor Review on Working Practices in the Modern Economy, published in July, highlights the benefits to the economy of the flexibility of UK working arrangements, but stresses the need to provided protections for all types of worker.

These themes will be of direct interest to the Retail Sector, which engages with workers in a variety of ways to reflect the ebb and flow of business need, and where margins are often very tight.

The Review does not make any specific legislative proposals, but of specific interest to retailers are the following recommendations:

  • The same basic rights and responsibilities should apply to all forms of working;
  • Zero-hours contracts should not be banned, but need to be carefully regulated to avoid exploitation of workers;
  • Whilst protecting workers is important, hidden costs of employment are high and should not be increased further;
  • We need to develop a more proactive approach to workplace health; and
  • Whilst the National Living Wage is a great way of protecting the incomes of low-paid workers, we need to take other steps to make sure that people can progress in their current and future work.

Retaining flexible working arrangements, and the comparatively unregulated employment law regime in the UK, will doubtless be seen by the Government as a way of attracting inward investment post-Brexit, so it remains to be seen whether there will be any significant legislative changes as a result of the Taylor Report.