Last August we published an article on the recommendations made by Matthew Taylor, who had been tasked by Theresa May with the job of reviewing our current employment laws and proposing improvements. Since last summer, the government has been reflecting on Mr Taylor’s recommendations and has recently issued its response. You can find a copy of the full response (running to almost 80 pages) by clicking on this link:
In summary, the government is considering the following:-
· Making it easier to distinguish between employees, workers and the genuinely self-employed;
· Broadening the government’s involvement in enforcing basic employment rights;
· Strengthening punishments for employers who repeatedly break employment laws;
· ‘Naming and shaming’ employers who fail to pay Employment Tribunal awards;
· Permitting ‘zero hours’ workers to request a more predictable contract;
· Permitting agency workers to request a direct contract of employment with the business for whom they work; and
· Introducing more flexible arrangements in relation to the calculation of holiday pay.
The government has now launched 4 related consultation exercises, seeking views on issues such as employment status and how to enforce employment rights. Consultation won’t close until May or June of this year. The government will then need to reflect on the submissions it has received before deciding how to proceed. As a result, nothing is going to happen very quickly. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye on this process, given the potentially significant legal changes being contemplated.
We will return to this issue as soon as we have more to report.