What do employers need to know about the Taylor Review?
“The Taylor Review: What employers need to know” was published first by Personnel Today.
What is the Taylor Review?
Matthew Taylor, who is the former advisor to Tony Blair, has conducted a review with the aim of setting out recommendations in hope of improving the employment market in the UK.
The highly anticipated review “Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices” was launched in 2016 and published on the 11th July 2017. The fundamental purpose of this publication is to achieve a deeper understanding of how labour market practices function across various industries and sectors, determine what impact technology and the expansion of ‘gig economy’ workers are having on working practices and assess the impact that these developments have within the current framework of employment legislation in the UK.
On launching the review, Taylor said: “Our national performance on the quantity of work is strong. But quantity alone is not enough for a thriving economy and fair society. We believe now is the time to complement that commitment to creating jobs with the goal of creating better jobs.”
“Despite the impact of the national living wage and tax credits, there will always be people who are in work but finding it hard to make ends meet. Our social contract with those people should include dignity at work and the realistic scope to progress in the labour market.”
Despite this, the review has been slammed by trade unions and employment law specialists. France O’Grady, General Secretary for the Trade Union Congress said: “I worry that many gig economy employers will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning.
“From what we’ve seen, this review is not the game-changer needed to end insecurity and exploitation at work.
“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 review pushes for a “significant shift in the quality of work in the UK economy” and makes several suggestions on how employment law can support this.
Key Principles of the Good Work Review
(1) The UK ought to aim for “good work for all” this means an equal balance of rights and responsibilities between the employer and individual. With protections in place for all individuals;
(2) Two-way flexibility which is to give workers further protections whilst safeguarding fairness for those working in platforms;
(3) Legislation should be implemented to make it easier for employers when making the right choices, whilst ensuring individuals have help and guidance when it comes to exercising their rights;
(4) The most efficient way to obtain a better work force is through responsible corporate governance, good management and strong employee relations;
(5) Every individual should be given attainable methods in order to help develop and strengthen their work prospects;
(6) Employers should promote a proactive approach to workplace health;
(7) All individuals should not be trapped at the minimum living wage resulting in financial insecurity.
Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, states: “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.
“Everyone can pay lip service to wanting good quality, well-paid work but employers could offer that right here and now – they simply choose not to. They won’t decide to do so just because they’re asked nicely.”
What impact is the Taylor Review likely to have on employment?
The review is clear in its approach, focusing heavily on the ‘Gig Economy’ and its recommendations on how the law ought to be changed to accommodate this. Additionally, it is evident that by changing the law on employment status and implementing protections for casual workers and those employed on zero hour contracts, if enforced, would have a significant impact on the employment market in the UK.
However, it is important to note that this review is simply recommendations and is yet to be a policy document adopted by the Government.
Theresa May was reported to state that she will commit to taking “this agenda forward in the months ahead” and has been seen to invite all parties to “engage with difficult issues” highlighted in the review.
At present, the Government has yet to act on these recommendations therefore organisations do not need to take any immediate action. However, it may be useful to start considering potential developments and plan appropriately.
How Employment Law Services (ELS) Can Help Employers
Employers concerned about any of the issues raised in this article can take advantage of Employment Law Services (ELS) free consultation service – call us today to arrange your free consultation – 0800 612 4772.