Biggest 'reset' for workers in a generation proposed in Taylor review

Biggest 'reset' for workers in a generation proposed in Taylor review

Biggest 'reset' for workers in a generation proposed in Taylor review

The gig economy work is worth up to £6bn annually in the United Kingdom, according to a government report, calling for companies such as Uber and Deliveroo to better protect the workers they employ. "The government should be under no illusions that any moves to restrict flexibility could undermine the very thing that attracts people to work in this sector".

Andrew Byrne, head of policy for Uber in the United Kingdom, said: "The main reason why people say they sign up to drive with Uber is so they can be their own boss".

Last year, judges sided with two self-employed drivers at Uber who had argued that they deserve workers' rights such as the minimum wage.

He adds that employers should offer additional protections for dependent contractors and that there should be stronger incentives for companies to treat them fairly.

Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation thinktank, had a more positive response to some elements of the report, saying its ideas for a new minimum wage for overtime could have more far reaching benefits.

His comments on BBC Radio 4 came as Frances O'Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said the report "is not the game-changer needed to end insecurity and exploitation at work" while Thompsons' Solicitor branded the recommendations as "feeble".

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Despite numerous calls to ban controversial zero hour contracts - which do not guarantee workers any hours - the Taylor review has not done so. In the United Kingdom and elsewhere, companies like Uber don't class their workers as employees, but instead refer to them as "independent contractors".

"We would welcome greater clarity in the law over different types of employment status", he said.

However, the Taylor review does not suggest a guaranteed minimum wage for all workers and recommends an opt-in system that removes workers' right to redress not being paid the minimum wage. This would codify recent court decisions (like one a year ago which found Uber drivers had too little control to be classed as truly independent) and could well eventually result in many "gig" workers being classed as "dependent contractors" in the UK.

But she is also expected to temper her remarks by pledging flexibility in the workplace should be maintained and "overbearing regulation" will be avoided.

Firms in the gig economy are being "let off the hook" by a government-ordered review into the employment rights of workers, unions are warning.

He also wants firms to show that staff can earn at least 1.2 times the minimum wage overall.

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Taylor did suggest there should be a clear separation made between so-called gig economy workers and those who choose to be self-employed.

Separately, it is proposed that HM Revenue & Customs should add holiday pay (for the lowest paid workers only) to its existing duty to enforce the national minimum wage and statutory sick pay.

According to the Taylor Review, the UK's economy should be "fair and decent" and that "fairness demands" employees, particularly those on lower incomes, had routes to progress in work.

"But it also means finding the right balance of rights and responsibilities, flexibilities and protections".

Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "It is no surprise these seven points are so weak and business-friendly given Taylor was commissioned by a Tory government that forced through the Trade Union Act that had at its core the aim of undermining the collective strength of workers".

The review, we were promised, would look at the working lives of those in these precarious self-employed jobs; if, how and why they're being exploited by employers; and how the government can step in to make improvements.

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"We welcome this report which looks at the rise in self-employment and new ways of working which predate apps like Uber".

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