Published: Wed, July 12, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Matthew Taylor review: seven key principles to improve the United Kingdom job market

Matthew Taylor review: seven key principles to improve the United Kingdom job market

Taylor stated that gig economy employees value their flexibility.

The report goes far wider than the "gig" economy, and also looks at the quality of work on offer.

"It's also clear that many people in zero hours would like to work differently".

However, making changes to cash in hand work is a controversial area.

"The same basic principles should apply to all forms of employment - there should be a fair balance of rights and responsibilities, everyone should have a baseline of protection and there should be routes to enable progression at work", the report says, according to The Times.

The gig-economy firms at the centre of the review naturally agreed that their businesses needed protection.

Deliveroo said the review was a chance to make the law "fit for the 21st century" but warned that "any moves to restrict flexibility could undermine the very thing that attracts people to work in this sector".

The report offers a blueprint as to how the government might deal with updating legislation to fit modern workers — not just Uber drivers but also journalists, freelancers, actors and others in creative industries, said Susannah Kintish, an employment partner at Mishcon de Reya. "The main reason why people say they sign up to drive with Uber is so they can be their own boss", he told Business Insider. With our app drivers are totally free to choose if, when and where they drive with no shifts or minimum hours.

Taxi-hailing app Uber has announced plans to increase employee benefits for its drivers in response to the United Kingdom government's report into the gig economy today.

At the moment, there is a middle ground status, "worker", between self-employed and fully employed in employment law.

But what does the Taylor review actually recommend?

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey added: "Put simply, today's Taylor report shows that Theresa May is failing working people across the country".

The report by Mr Taylor, the head of the Royal Society of Arts, said low-paid workers should not be "stuck" at the living wage minimum, or face insecurity.

We need to recognise that part-time, non-traditional work will continue to grow massively into the future (the gig economy has grown by 70 per cent since 2010) - whilst at the same time recognise this does not mean this work has to be low paid or precarious.

" This could include linking an individual's right to work to a certain payment mechanism". If Taylor's recommendations are followed, the legal action won't end, noted Kemp Little employment partner Kathryn Docks.

"Such firms seek the maximum numerical flexibility of zero hour contracts as well as avoiding tax - NI contributions - or benefits such as sick pay, holiday entitlement and pension provisions".

She said that considering issues such as how much control a company has over staff is "highly staff specific" and will require tribunals.

Experts and even gig economy companies themselves say the status is too vaguely defined.

Taylow emphasised that he didn't want to stop people working flexibly if that's what they wanted to do, but instead wanted to prevent companies taking advantage of lower-paid workers.

Taylor, who is head of the Royal Society of Arts and a former adviser to Tony Blair, says the reforms would set "principles for fair and decent work" and could help to improve United Kingdom productivity.

A Government-ordered review into the employment rights of workers in the gig economy, which calls for better jobs to be created, has been attacked as "feeble".

And they will be covered by some of the minimum wage requirements.

Announcing the publication of the review, Taylor said: "Despite the impact of the national living wage and tax credits, there will always be people who are in work but finding it hard to make ends meet".

Ruth Buchanan, employment partner at silver circle firm Ashurst, said "the task is gargantuan", adding: 'there is a real risk that a Brexit-mired parliament will not get to implement these changes for a number of years'.

The Taylor Report recommended the creation of a new category of worker in employment law called a "dependent contractor" to cover those who are not full-time employees but do not enjoy the autonomy traditionally seen as part of self-employment. The pragmatic view is that the United Kingdom will need a flexible work force after Brexit and so new regulation is extremely unlikely.

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