The Taylor Review Proposals
The long awaited Taylor Review, now nick-named “the Good Report”, was published on 11 July. The Review was commissioned by the Government to look at modern day employment laws to assess whether they are fit for purpose in the twenty first century.
The published proposals were as follows:-
- Greater clarification is needed as to the distinction between a worker and someone who is self-employed as it is important for people to be able to understand their status and what rights they have.
- There should be another status of worker introduced: a “dependent contractor” which covers casual, independent relationships but with a more limited set of key employment rights applying than that of a worker. When looking at developing a test for identifying “dependent contractors”, the issue of control should be of greater importance and less emphasis should be placed on the requirement to perform work personally. When looking at defining the status, there should be an emphasis on allowing maximum flexibility whilst still ensuring that the dependent contractors are able to earn National Minimum Wage.
- There needs to be an alignment of employment law and tax law to help define the distinction between a worker and someone who is self-employed.
- It should be a statutory requirement that all employers should be required to issue a written statement of terms on day one to all workers (not just to employees). This should include a stand alone right to compensation if the employer has not given a written statement.
- The Government should develop and create a free online tool to provide individuals with an indication of their employment status and the associated rights of that status.
- The rules calculating continuous employment should be amended so that there could be a gap of one month, as opposed to one week, in a person’s length of service.
- The holiday reference period should be amended to 52 weeks, and not 12 weeks, where workers do not have normal working hours (i.e. for seasonal workers).
- Better information should be provided to agency workers to inform them of their rights. Agency workers should have a right to request a direct contract of employment where they have been placed with the same hirer for 12 months and there should be a mutual obligation on the hirer to consider the request in a reasonable manner.
- For zero hours workers who have been in a role for 12 months, there should be a right to request a contract that guarantees them hours which reflect the hours they actually work.
- The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations should be reviewed to see if they can be extended to introduce an “effective worker voice” for workers within companies and the Government should work with organisations such as ACAS, Investors in People and Trade Unions to promote and improve employee engagement in sectors with significant levels of casual employment.
- HMRC should take responsibility for enforcing the basic set of core pay rights that apply to all workers (such as National Minimum Wage, sick pay and holiday pay).
- In the Employment Tribunal, there should not be a fee charged for preliminary hearings which determine the status of a worker/employee.
- There should be an examination of the ways in which the tax system might be changed to address the disparity between the level of tax applied to employed and self-employed labour.
- Statutory Sick Pay should be reformed so that it is explicitly a basic employment right, comparable to the National Minimum Wage, for which all workers are eligible regardless of income from day 1. Statutory Sick Pay should be payable by the employer and should be accrued based on length of service.
It is now for the Government to review the proposals and we wait to see which, if any, of the recommendations will be taken on board.
If you would like more information, please contact Millie Kempley.