In October 2016, the Prime Minister asked Matthew Taylor (CEO of the Royal Society of Arts) to conduct an independent review of worker’s rights in today’s ‘gig’ economy.
The findings of this review, due to be published in June 2017, will examine whether our current system of employment rules are still suitable for those working flexibly in today’s technology driven world (think Uber and Deliveroo).
The review focuses on six key themes:
Security, pay and rights – What effect do these new, non-traditional, ways of working have on the rights and benefits of those involved?
Progression and training – How can those working in the gig economy be encouraged to develop professionally?
The balance of rights and responsibilities – Do the current categories of employee, worker and self-employed, operate effectively for those in the gig economy?
Representation – Are those working in the gig economy suitably represented, to ensure they can access their rights?
Opportunities for under-represented groups – Do new ways of working present an opportunity for those who previously found access to work difficult, such as carers or those with disabilities?
New business models – How can government support the varying business models available to investors, consumers and workers?
The review team recently launched its UK tour, visiting selected cities to gain a better understanding of the different ways of working throughout the country.
What is likely to happen?
It is expected that when the findings of the review are published, legislation will follow to protect those working in the gig economy, and to assist with the current blurring of boundaries between the employed and the self-employed. It is expected that the review will seek greater clarity in the underlying legislation, to ensure it is more reflective of modern working practices, from both an employment and a tax perspective.
Mr Taylor has recently revealed that he will be recommending changes to the rights of the self-employed when the review is published, and he is expected to recommend that companies who wish to exert ‘control’ over their flexible workers, will also be required to afford them additional rights more akin to those currently enjoyed by employees.