With the Taylor Review recently published there has been a flurry of discussion as to what legal changes this may bring and the impact on employees. We have summarised the 7 main points of the review, which aims to make ‘all work in the UK economy fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment’, that you should be aware of.
Worker status proposals
- The definition of ‘non-employee workers’ should be made clearer and will be renamed ‘Dependent Contractors’. This status affects many people in the gig economy, for example Uber and Deliveroo workers. Workers could receive more employment benefits such as sick pay.
- There should be less emphasis on personal service and more emphasis on control from the employer. Currently, employers can control many aspects of an individual’s work but if they do not provide a personal service, ie. they do not have to do the work personally and can substitute someone else, they will likely not be given worker status. This decision would mean employers could rely less on substitution clauses.
- Tax should be aligned with employment status. In current legislation you can be classed as an employee or worker for employment legislation but self=employed for tax purposes, meaning achieving the best of both employment rights and tax benefits. However self-employed for tax purposes should equal self-employed for employment rights purposes. This would also mean employers would have to pay national insurance for ‘dependent contractors’.
- Employees should be able to have a free preliminary hearing to determine their worker status and it is for the employer to prove they are not an employee.
Zero hour contracts
5. To attempt to cut down on the number of zero hour contracts, those working in the gig economy with zero hour contracts should benefit from a higher national minimum wage.
6. Both zero hour contract and agency workers should have a right to request a contract with guaranteed hours from their employer if they have worked on a zero hours contract for 12 months or more.
7. Employers should report how many requests are received and whether they are approved.