modern working practicesA long-awaited report into how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business models has been published.

‘Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices’ looked at a number of key areas including the use of zero-hours contracts, bogus self-employment, pay, job security and workers’ rights.

It was commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May last year and undertaken by Matthew Taylor, a former advisor to Tony Blair.

The review makes a series of recommendations around the gig economy – where the labour market is characterised by short-term contracts or freelance work.

It recommends a new category of “dependent contractor” which lies between full-time employed and self employed status and says traditional classifications are no longer adequate in reflecting current business models.

 There are also recommendations to make it easier for gig workers to gain benefits such as sick pay and holiday pay.

Plus, it is recommended that agency workers and those on zero hours contracts gain the “right to request” a more formal working relationship after a 12-month period.

Below are the authors’ Seven steps towards fair and decent work with realistic scope for development and fulfilment.

  • All forms of work to be treated equally – in terms of tax, rights, and regulation.

  • Recognition of the value of platform working for those who need it but “dependent contractors” should be treated fairly, with flexibility required of employers as well as workers.

  • The law encourage employers to behave properly and for all workers to know and exercise their rights.

  • The best way to achieve better work is not national regulation but responsible corporate governance, good management and strong employment relations within the organisation.

  • Everyone should feel they have “realistically attainable ways to strengthen their future work prospects”.

  • A “more proactive approach to workplace health” should be adopted across the UK.

  • The National Living Wage is “a powerful tool to raise the financial baseline of low-paid workers” which should be backed by strategies engaging employers, employees and stakeholders to ensure that people are not stuck at the minimum rate.

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