Government’s Good Work plan does not address employment status

government Good Work gig economy

The government has finally responded to the Taylor Review. It has released its Good Work plan and says that ‘millions of workers will receive new rights under major government reforms’. However, the government has committed only to consulting on employment status, along with issues, including:

  • Consultation on enforcement of employment rights recommendations
  • Consultation on agency workers recommendations
  • Consultation on measures to increase transparency in the UK labour market
  • Consultation on employment status

Responding to the consultations, some commentators were hopeful the process would lead to new legislation:

While others felt it was a delaying tactic:

The plan has been criticised by unions – UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis for example, says the plan is no good and it will fall at the first hurdle. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady says: “These plans won’t stop the hire and fire culture of zero-hours contracts or sham self-employment. And they will still leave 1.8 million workers excluded from key protections.”

But according to the government’s press release, some of its plans go further than the recommendations made in the Taylor review, including:

  • Enforcing vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay for the first time
  • a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip for all workers, including casual and zero-hour workers
  • a right for all workers, not just zero-hour and agency, to request a more stable contract, providing more financial security for those on flexible contract.

While the government has rejected Matthew Taylor’s proposals to reduce the difference between the National Insurance contributions of employees and the self-employed, it points out that its acted on all other 53 points in the Review.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD says: “The CIPD has long called for both workers and employees to be eligible for written terms and conditions of employment, so we fully support the adoption of the right to receive a payslip and terms and conditions from day one. Improving clarity and transparency of people’s contractual terms and conditions from day one can help to ensure that people’s rights are respected in the workplace and reduce abuses.”

The reaction on Twitter was swift and to the point:

Many solicitors highlighted the lack of employment status:

And the fact that “dependent contractor” has not yet been adopted:

In further news, there could be an update later, points out @Wonkypolicywonk

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