July 31, 2017

The Good Work: The Taylor Review

The Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices (the Review), an independent report commissioned by the U.K. government to analyse the changing employment landscape, was published on 11 July 2017.

The Review is wide ranging and sets out a number of recommendations, including the following:

  • Replacing the existing “worker” category (broadly, those who are neither employees nor self-employed) with a new category of “dependent contractors” (while retaining the distinction between each category). The case law principles defining employment status should be enshrined in legislation, with more emphasis placed on the question of control (i.e., who decides on the work to be done and how it is done) and less on whether someone performs work “personally”.
  • A simplification of the employment tribunal process should be implemented to improve access to justice. For example, in cases concerning employment status, the burden of proof should be reversed so that it is for the employer to prove that there is no employment relationship, rather than for the worker to prove that there is.
  • Platform workers (e.g., Uber drivers) should be paid at variable rates, depending on the time of day they work (e.g., a low rate when demand is low, and high rate when demand is high).
  • A higher National Minimum Wage and the right to request guaranteed hours after 12 months should be available for those without guaranteed hours.
  • Holiday pay should be calculated against an increased reference period of 52 weeks (rather than 12 weeks) to take account of seasonal variations, and workers should be given the opportunity to receive rolled up holiday pay (which is not permitted under EU law).

The recommendations set out above are just that, recommendations, and it remains to be seen whether or not they will be implemented by the government. We will keep you updated.

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