Taylor report calls for greater protection for gig economy workers

Matthew Taylor CEO of the Royal Society of Arts has led the Taylor review

The big take out for me is that if these recommendations are acted on, after a review of the report this summer, the Government could ironically end up protecting not just gig economy workers but also the tech companies who provide the irregular work.

The review also calls for "a review" of employment tribunal fees, and the wider tribunal system, in "which the odds are often stacked against the worker".

Mr Taylor's review calls for a new category of worker called "dependent contractor" to be created to bolster rights to sick pay and holiday pay, covering those who do not now enjoy full employment rights.

Overtime should attract a premium, Mr Taylor recommended, which could affect "millions of supermarket staff and care workers", the Resolution Foundation...

Former Blair adviser Matthew Taylor was commissioned by Mrs May to review employment laws as the economy evolves.

At the moment, there is a middle ground status, "worker", between self-employed and fully employed in employment law. While reforms to the state pension introduced past year boost self-employed workers by giving them exactly the same entitlements as employed workers, the Taylor Review acknowledges that most should not be relying exclusively on the state to support them in retirement.

"I worry that many gig economy employers will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning". With our app drivers are totally free to choose if, when and where they drive with no shifts or minimum hours.

The review acknowledges that, while platform-based working (typically based on technology platforms where consumers hire people's services, such as Uber) can be a way to work flexibly for many people, dependent contractors can fall victim to "one-sided flexibility", hence the need for additional protection.

"The opposition party's shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey echoed campaigns such as "#DeleteUber" by telling the BBC she boycotted Uber because of how it "exploited" workers.

"We know drivers want more security too which is why we're already investing in discounted illness and injury cover, and will be introducing further improvements soon", he said. "A new minimum wage for overtime, forms of which already operate in the United States and Australia, would be a big change for low earning workers struggling with tight budgets and insecure earnings".

In addition to this, employers would also face higher penalties for aggravated breeches of worker's rights if they are successfully taken to tribunal a few times over the same issue.

"If the Government are serious about decent work they need to set about enforcing current laws, making sure companies actually pay their taxes like the rest of us and end the insecure work epidemic that continues to spread like wildfire through the economy". Worker (or "dependent contractor" as we suggest renaming it) status should be maintained but we should be clearer about how to distinguish workers from those who are legitimately self-employed.

The 115-page review also suggested that workers on zero-hours contracts earned a higher minimum wage to reflect their uncertain status.

Despite numerous calls to ban controversial zero hour contracts - which do not guarantee workers any hours - the Taylor review has not done so.

Instead it calls for two-way flexibility on pay, with companies having to pay at least the minimum wage in exchange for a contractor working during busy periods.

"The boldness on overtime contrasts with a timid right for zero hour contract workers to request guaranteed hours, something that can all too easily be rejected by employers".

Prime Minister Theresa May defended the review, saying it would ensure "the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the "gig" economy are all properly protected".

The U.K. government is trying to improve working conditions for contract workers participating in the "gig economy".

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