The government’s Taylor Review (published July 11th) laid out a host of recommendations for employment law.
A new dependent contractor status, more progression options for employees and a do-it-yourself approach to corporate governance are all proposed by the report.
Other recommendations include more methods for staff to strengthen their future prospects and on-the-job and off-the-job options for developing skills. The report also calls for new strategies to ensure staff are not trapped on the National Living Wage.
However, the new dependent contractor status has attracted the most attention in the freelance world. The proposal covers people in the gig economy, recommending they are given more employment rights, including sick and holiday pay.
The Low Pay Commission will oversee the pay rates of dependent contractors to ensure they are paid by the amount of tasks an average person can perform during their times of work.
“Develop legislation and guidance that adequately sets out the tests that need to be met to establish employee or dependent contractor status.
“This should retain the best elements of case law and better reflect the reality of modern day casual work in terms of the control exercised by employers over their staff,” the report read.
The Taylor review also recommends extending the right to written particulars to all people in employment, along with introducing an online tool to advise people on their rights.
What’s more, the report calls for employers to not use flexible working models just as a cost reduction method. Instead, they should consider the impact increased sickness rates and lower productivity has on their team.
More effort needs to be made to incentivise employers to use fairer and more responsible working models, the review states. The report claims that too many employers and businesses are depending on zero-hour or short-term contracts. Instead, Lord Taylor wants to see these businesses adopt more forward-thinking approaches.
With the self-employment industry changing, the review calls for the government to identify the wide variety of different self-employment types available. It wants action to be taken to support and protect people who need help, while more efforts need to be made to understand how digital platforms can assist freelancers and contractors.
If f the report results in a review of the definition of employment status or harmonisation of tax and NIC between employed and self-employed the nuances of the self-employed work force are considered. Highly skilled contractors should continue to benefit from some form of incentivisation through the tax system to work in this way to ensure the economy continues to benefit from the flexibility this sector of the workforce provides.
As well as this, before people choose to work for themselves, more guidance should be available to help professionals make the right decision, suggests the Taylor review.
What’s more, the research wants legislation to be developed to enable agency workers to request a more formalised working relationship.
To find out more, access The Taylor review here.