Taylor Review: Government pledges to reform workers’ rights

The Government have reported that it will enforce workers’ rights from their first day in a new job.

On 7th February, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said it had acted on “all but one of Matthew Taylors 53 recommendations.”

It has been proposed that the Good Work Plan will ensure that all workers, including casual and zero-hour workers will receive basic rights and payslips and, for the first time, ensure all workers receive holiday and sick pay.

In addition, the Good Work Plan will seek to guarantee the right for all workers to request a more stable contract of employment.

Greg Clark, Business Secretary said: “The Taylor Review said that the current approach to employment is successful but we should build on that success, in preparing for future opportunities.”

“We want to embrace new ways of working, and to do so we will be one of the first countries to prepare out employment rules to reflect new challenges.”

“We will take forward Matthew Taylors recommendations and commit to pursuing the quality of work as well as the number of jobs.”

However, before taking any further action, the Government have said it will consult with businesses on the impact of plans to enforce employment rights, change rules concerning agency workers, increase transparency in the labour market and consider employment status.

The Good Work Plan will include:

  • Tougher regulations for sectors who employ unpaid interns to do the job of a worker
  • Publishing names of employers who fail to pay Employment Tribunal awards
  • Quadrupling Employment Tribunal fines for employers who have shown malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000
  • Higher minimum wage rates for individuals on zero-hour contracts

Matthew Taylor, the leading author of the Taylor Review and Chief Executive of the RSA said: “There is much more to be done to make good work for all a realistic goal, but the Government’s response, emphasising that the good work agenda must now change up a gear for Government, businesses and unions alike.”

“There is much more to be done to make good work for all a realistic goal, but the government’s response to my review is substantive and comprehensive. It will make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable workers and that is what matters.”

Employment Status – Worker or Employee?

At present, an individual’s employment rights will depend upon whether they are an employee or a worker.

An individual is generally classes as a worker if:

  • They have a contract or other arrangements to do work or services personally for a reward
  • Their reward is for money or a benefit in kind
  • They only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work
  • They have to turn up for work even if they do not want to
  • Their employer has to have work for them to do as long as the contract or arrangement lasts

Employment Rights

Workers are entitled to certain employment rights which include:

  • National Minimum Wage
  • Protection against unlawful deduction of wages
  • The statutory minimum level of paid annual leave
  • The statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • To not work more than 48 hours in one week or to opt out of this right if they choose
  • Protection against unlawful discrimination
  • To not be treated less favourably if they work part-time

An employee is someone who works under a contract of employment. All employees are workers; however, an employee has extra employment rights and responsibilities that do not apply to workers who are not employees.

Employment Rights

These rights include all of the rights workers have and:

  • Statutory sick pay
  • Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave and pay
  • Minimum notice periods if their employment will be terminated
  • Protection against unfair dismissal
  • Right to request flexible working
  • Time off for emergencies
  • Statutory redundancy pay

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) help?

If you require employment law advice on any of the issues raised in this article, or any other employment issue give us a call today on 0370 218 5662.  You can also find out more about our fixed fee employment law packages here, or get in touch.