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Government Sets Out Response to Taylor Review

Earlier this month the Government published details of its ‘Good Work Plan’, which contains its response to the recommendations of the independent Taylor Review of modern working practices. The Taylor Review published its findings last year and outlined the “7 principles for good quality work for all”. 

In its plan, the Government sets out proposals that it says will ensure workers know their rights and receive the benefits and protections they are entitled to, and that action is taken against employers who breach workers’ rights.

Exceeding the Review’s Proposals

It highlights that in some areas it plans to go further than the Taylor Review’s proposals, including:

  • enforcing vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay for the first time,
  • a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip for all workers, including casual and zero-hour workers, and
  • a right for all workers, not just zero-hour and agency, to request a more stable contract, providing more financial security for those on flexible contracts.

The Government is also launching a detailed consultation examining options, including new legislation, to make it easier for both the workforce and businesses to understand whether someone is an employee, worker or self-employed, and therefore make it easier to determine which rights and tax obligations apply to them.

Government Proposals

In its ‘Good Work Plan’ the Government has set out a number of actions it proposes to take in several key areas:

  • Protecting worker’s rights:
    • taking further action to ensure unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker;
    • introducing a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards;
    • quadrupling employment tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000 and considering increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases;
  • Ensuring fair pay:
    • providing all 1.2 million agency workers witha clear breakdown of who pays them and any costs or charges deducted from their wages;
    • asking the Low Pay Commission to consider the impact of higher minimum wage rates for workers on zero-hour contracts;
    • considering repealing laws allowing agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates;
  • Increasing transparency in the business environment by:
    • defining ‘working time’ for flexible workers who find jobs through apps or online so they know when they should be being paid;
    • launching a task force with business to promote awareness and take-up of the right to request flexible working introduced in 2014;
    • making sure new and expectant mothers know their workplace rights and raise awareness amongst employers of their obligations;
    • launching a new campaign to encourage more working parents to share childcare through Shared Parental Leave – a right introduced in 2015.

Response to the Proposals

In response to the Government’s announcement, Torsten Bell, Director of think tank the Resolution Foundation, said:

“The Taylor Review, high profile court cases and the experience of workers across Britain over the last few years have shown us all that we need to do more to make our labour market deliver for those working hard in it. With employment at record highs now is the time to do it, not just talk about it.”

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