A government review of employment practices has been released today, with a key focus geared around the gig economy.
The report’s author, Matthew Taylor, has said that a key theme of the report is the perception that the gig economy has put too much power into the hands of employers.
He said: “Of all the issues that were raised with us as we went around the country, the one that came through most strongly was what the report calls one-sided flexibility.
“One-sided flexibility is where employers seek to transfer all risk onto the shoulder of workers in ways that make people more insecure and makes their lives harder to manage.”
The Matthew Taylor Review also recommends the introduction of a new category of worker, called a “dependent contractor”. Individuals within this category should be given extra protection by firms heavily involved in the gig economy such as Uber and Deliveroo, the report recommends.
Paul Holcroft, Croner Head of Legal and Advisory, comments: “In light of this report, flexibility in the workplace will be in the spotlight for the foreseeable future.
“Matthew Taylor’s review is one of the more detailed examinations of the current state of affairs where working status is concerned, and will carry a lot of weight and direction for employers.
“The review has stated that too many employers and businesses rely on zero hour contracts, short-hours or agency contracts, which yet again accentuates the importance of documentation.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has responded to the report by stating that the government will look at and take the report’s recommendations seriously, though this has been met with a varied reaction from industry experts.
The Living Wage Foundation, who campaign for employers to voluntarily pay staff an affordable wage, have welcomed the Matthew Taylor Review, but are urging employers to go further and pay “a real Living Wage”.
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, says: “With living costs set to rise and uncertainty ahead, we would encourage employers to go even further and ensure that all employees, regardless of the type of employment they’re in, are able to earn a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living.
“Fair working practices including the real Living Wage are good for people, society and business – and a critical component of what it means to be a good employer in the 21st century.”