Taylor Review: UK should end cash in hand economy

Wednesday, 12 Jul, 2017

Mrs May will say: "I am clear that this government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the "gig" economy are all properly protected".

"Drivers using Uber made average fares of £15 per hour a year ago after our service fee and, even after costs, the average driver took home well over the National Living Wage", he noted.

"We'd welcome any nuggets of good news, but it doesn't look like the report will shift the balance of power in the modern workplace".

The Taylor Report recommended the creation of a new category of worker in employment law called a "dependent contractor" to cover those who are not full-time employees but do not enjoy the autonomy traditionally seen as part of self-employment.

"Dependent contractor" would have the same rights as the existing "worker" status, with entitlement to sick pay and holiday pay. "This new status is unclear and unnecessary".

In an earlier interview with me, Mr Taylor said that the United Kingdom had been very good at creating a large number of jobs - which was an economic good - and that now the question was how to make those jobs of a high, and rewarding, quality.

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".

We will build on the strengths of our labour market.

It also says low-paid workers should not be "stuck" at the minimum living wage or face insecurity.

Taylor Review: UK should end cash in hand economy
Taylor Review: UK should end cash in hand economy

While people hiring such workers may wish them to pay the appropriate tax, it is hard in practice for them to be sure that they do, said the report.

The long-awaited report into the UK's so-called "gig economy" and other working practices was dismissed on Tuesday as a "missed opportunity" by trades unions. This means that, the effective tax rates of a self-employed person are significantly below that of those in employment'.

What does this mean for employers?

Mr Taylor, who worked on the review for nine months, is presenting seven recommendations to the government to provide "good quality work".

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: "The recommendations show some laudable aims on the surface - and of course any progress in basic employment rights is welcome - but as a whole it's a disappointing missed opportunity".

To counter criticism this would result in flexible work being withdrawn when demand is low, the review will say companies can offer a "real-time" pay system to allow workers to log in and see if they will earn less than the minimum rate at that time. The review also called for businesses that don't pay awards from tribunal rulings within a reasonable timeframe to be named and shamed, while those companies that fail to change the status of their staff after a tribunal ruling and get hauled up in front of a judge again on the same issue could be hit with penalties. It indicated that fairness and dignity would be restored to working life. She said she wanted to work more on a cross-party basis, challenging her political rivals to contribute ideas and back government proposals that they agree with, reflecting the new political reality of her minority administration.

The U.K. government is trying to improve working conditions for contract workers participating in the "gig economy". "This would not only allow the Government to have some oversight of the work being undertaken by those working under visas in the United Kingdom, but also give confidence to consumers that the people they are paying are legally entitled to work in the United Kingdom".

But Stefan Baskerville of the New Economics Foundation think tank, said the report was "silent" on the stress caused to workers by employers' new ability to monitor their performance electronically.

Sir Vince Cable, the likely next Lib Dem leader and former business secretary, said the proposals were "broadly sensible".