What Does The Taylor Review Mean For The Gig Economy?

Submitted by Dawn on 07th August 2017

HR, Gig Economy, Employment law, employment practices, employment rights, contractors, worker

What is the Taylor Review?

Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts) led a 9-month review to consider how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business models.  The intention was to address, amongst other things, employment rights in the gig economy, which is something that has received a great deal of media interest over recent months.

The review has received some pretty severe criticism.  Frances O Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, expressed her disappointment by saying “This review is not the game-changer needed to end insecurity and exploitation at work.”

What does it mean for Employers?

Putting aside politically charged comments, what does the Taylor Review mean for employers? 

A key suggestion is that ‘workers’ – a name given to those that sit in between employees and self-employed contractors are reclassified as ‘dependent contractors’. This group does already have rights such as entitlement to sick pay, but the main issue has been around enforcement of those rights. Uber tried to classify their drivers as self-employed, but this was successfully challenged in court. 

The report also suggests a revival of piece rates.  Essentially, this could mean that if an Uber or Deliveroo driver gets stuck in traffic, which is a common occurrence in a big city, they could be paid less for not completing their set list of tasks.  Some commentators have argued that this is a big step backwards for employee rights. 

How, if, and when the recommendations are implemented remains to be seen.  But it is expected that the gig economy will keep dominating headlines and dividing opinion. 

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