Employment status review(s) – opportunities to get involved

by Laurie Anstis on January 30, 2017

The government, opposition and Parliament are all carrying out reviews of the law on employment status. Prompted by the development of the so-called gig economy, this issue is now attracting serious attention from policy-makers.

Taylor review

The most significant of these reviews is likely to be the Taylor review on modern employment practices.

Commissioned by the Prime Minister, Matthew Taylor (the chief executive of the RSA) and his team (including Diane Nicol of Pinsent Masons) are to report under a number of headings including “security, pay and rights” and “the balance of rights and responsibilities”. At one level this could be seen as simply a review of the different employment statuses – but it is potentially much more wide ranging than that, covering fundamental issues about what statuses should attract what rights.

Matthew Taylor and his team are carrying out a wide ranging consultation as part of this. In keeping with the modern world of work, there is an online forum for submission and discussion of ideas here. Over the next couple of months there are also a series of open discussions taking place in various locations across the country.

Matthew Taylor has also been open about some of the issues he is considering, most recently blogging about the concept of an online tool to assess whether or not someone is self-employed.

The Taylor review is expected to report in late spring/early summer 2017.

Future of Work Commission

For the opposition, Tom Watson MP and Helen Mountfield QC are co-chairing the “Future of Work Commission“, set up to “understand the implications of new technology on work and make achievable recommendations about the most pressing challenges and opportunities of the future”. The full terms of reference are available here. The commission aims to report by September 2017, and will be hosting an open conference in Spring 2017. There is a mailing list for those who want to get involved here.

The Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry

In Parliament, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is undertaking “the future world of work and rights of workers inquiry“. The committee received written submissions in December 2016, and these are now published, forming a valuable body of material on some of the issues around employment status and the rights of workers. A very wide range of bodies and individuals have made submissions (including Uber). There is an opportunity to submit comments to the committee online here.

Conclusions

The law on employment status is notoriously complex, but with such interest in the topic, it seems likely that there will changes – perhaps radical changes – to come. Many readers of his blog will have an interest in employment status and knowledge of many of the technical issues, and I encourage all my readers to get involved in these various reviews as far as they are able.