25th May 2020
In our previous post, we looked at the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, which was commissioned by the Prime Minister and conducted by Matthew Taylor, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts in 2017.
The Taylor Review is an independent review of modern working practices which considers the issues in our labour market, including:
- The implications of new forms of work.
- The rise of digital platforms.
- Impacts of new working models.
In total, 53 recommendations were made, and, in February 2018, the government published a full response to the review, accepting a vast majority of the recommendations. This came in the form of the Good Work Plan, a document that sets out the government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market.
Also launched, were four consultations to seek stakeholder views on the approach to implementation, which were used to inform the Good Work Plan. These consultations include:
- Employment status.
- Agency worker recommendations.
- Increasing transparency in the labour market.
- Enforcement of employment rights recommendations.
In addition to these four areas, the Good Work Plan also sets out five foundational principles of quality work:
- Fair pay.
- Participation and progression.
- Wellbeing, safety and security.
- Voice and autonomy.
Why was the Taylor Review Commissioned?
With every year that goes by, our technological and societal trends are evolving and impacting on how, when and where we work, which holds many benefits to workers, employers and the economy as a whole. The government are keen to not only maintain worker’s rights as the UK leaves the European Union, but to enhance them. However, while we want to remain able to benefit from the rise in more flexible and varied way of working, the government also believe that we need to prevent the erosion of key protections that workers should be able to expect.
This is why Matthew Taylor was commissioned to conduct a review of the UK employment framework, and the Good Work Plan demonstrates how it can be achieved.
What does the Good Work Plan Look to Achieve?
In response to the Taylor Review, the Good Work Plans appears as though it plans to take 8 prominent actions. In a nutshell, the areas that the government plan to address are as follows.
Give all Workers the Right to a more Stable Contract – The Good Work Plan pledges to implement legislation that will give all workers the “right to request a more stable contract” in order to stabilise financial security.
Remove the loophole from pay-between-assignment contracts – The Taylor Review identified that some businesses are exploiting pay between assignment contracts (which are designed to entitle agency workers to be paid from their agency when they are between jobs) in order to circumnavigate equal pay arrangements between agency workers and their permanent workers. The Good Work Plan aims to ban the use of this type of contract in this way.
Ban employers from taking tips given to employees – The Taylor Review uncovered that a small number of employers retain tips earned by their staff. The Good Work Plan aims to legislate to employers from making deductions from staff tips.
Make employers provide a statement of rights to workers – Employers will need to be much clearer on the reality of any working contracts they offer before work begins to ensure that workers fully understand the nature of the work they are agreeing to. Workers will be entitled to a statement of their rights on appointment. This is specifically designed to help agency workers as the Government plans to set out the specific information that agencies must provide to agency workers in order to help them make more informed choices about the kind of work they accept.
Minimise the differences between different employment types – The Good Work Plan aims to align the various types of employment types to make them more similar to ensure that all workers have similar rights and pay similar rates of tax.
Improve the accuracy of employment status tests – The Good Work Plan sets out legislation that will improve the clarity of employment status tests. The aim is to reflect the reality of modern working relationships. This is in the hope that businesses will not be able to avoid certain responsibilities by trying to misclassify worker status.
Extend penalties to include underpayment of holiday entitlement – The Government is planning to extend the scope of existing enforcement. The Good Work Plan aims to extend existing penalties to cover a wider scope. These penalties will include employers who take advantage of vulnerable workers in the form of underpayment of holiday pay.
Increase the maximum penalty imposed by Employment Tribunals – In addition to increasing the scope of punishable offences, the Good Work Plan sets out plans to increase the size of penalties, with the maximum penalty imposed by Employment Tribunals raising to £20,000.
The Good Work Plan came into effect as of 6th April, 2020. If you would like to view the full plan and the responses to each of the 53 recommendations set out in the Taylor Review, you can do so on the Gov.uk website.
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