The UK Government have today responded to the ‘Independent Taylor Review’ published last year. The purpose of the Taylor Review was to develop proposals to improve the working lives of people within the UK. The work of this Review is based on a single overriding ambition: All work in the UK economy should be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment.
The report covered all aspects of modern day working, from agency workers’ rights through to sick pay, interns and career progression.
Click here for a copy of the independent Taylor Review.
Theresa May, Prime Minister today released a statement;
“We recognise the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business.
We are proud to have record levels of employment in this country, but we must also ensure that workers’ rights are always upheld. Our response to this report will mean tangible progress towards that goal as we build an economy that works for everyone.”
Matthew Taylor recognised that the UK’s employment law and tax law can fail to provide the clarity that employers and individuals need. 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 - determining which rights and tax obligations apply to them.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said:
“The Taylor Review said that the current approach to employment is successful but that we should build on that success, in preparing for future opportunities.
We want to embrace new ways of working, and to do so we will be one of the first countries to prepare our employment rules to reflect the new challenges.
We will take forward Matthew Taylor’s recommendations and commit to pursuing the quality of work as well as number of jobs.
The ‘Good Work plan’ puts the UK at the front of the pack in addressing the challenges and opportunities of modern ways of working, it is an important part of the Industrial Strategy and will enhance our business environment as one of the best places to work, invest and do business.”
The government will seek to protect workers’ rights by:
take 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
The government will ensure workers are paid fairly by:
providing all 1.2 million agency workers with a 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
The government will increase 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
Quality work will also be considered by the government when agreeing new sector deals with industry, encouraging employers to show how they are investing in their workforces to improve productivity.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will work with labour market experts, trade unions and the business community to measure the standards of quality work established in the Taylor Review.
See the full release from the UK Government here.