In his review, Matthew Taylor sets out seven principles for 'fair and decent work' and makes a number of key recommendations including:
- retaining the current three-tier approach to employment status (employee, worker and self-employed) but renaming the 'worker' category (ie those individuals who are eligible for workers’ rights but who are not employees) as “dependent contractor” – key rights to which dependent contractors would be entitled include sick pay and holiday pay
- ensuring those who engage dependent contractors pay national insurance contributions for them
- developing a clearer test for the new "dependent contractor" status with more emphasis to be placed on how much control and supervision an employer has over the individual
- providing maximum clarity on status and rights for all individuals by extending the right to written particulars to dependent contractors and developing an online tool providing a 'clear steer' on what rights an individual has
- ensuring individuals are able to get an authoritative determination of their employment status at an expedited employment tribunal hearing without paying any fee
- adapting the legislation on piece work to address issues around what is ‘working time’ to ensure those working in the gig economy are able to retain maximum flexibility whilst also being able to earn the national minimum wage
- retaining zero hours contracts but introducing the right for those on zero hours contracts to be able to request fixed hours
- aligning the employment status framework with the tax status framework to ensure that differences between the two systems are reduced to an absolute minimum.
While this review has potential implications for all businesses whose business models rely on engaging workers and self-employed contractors (and not just those in the gig economy), it is important to remember that the review makes recommendations only – the next step will be for the government to consider the extent to which it wants to introduce any of these recommendations into law.