This article has been submitted by Greenaway Scott
Zero hours contracts, obtaining the minimum wage, and agency working are some of the common issues faced by staff across the UK on a daily basis.
Often these issues can be contentious with employees if not dealt with correctly, leading staff to demanding the right to be treated fairly and equally.
A new report, the Taylor ‘Good Work’ Review was published on 11 July 2017 looking into modern working practices and suggestions to improve employment law.
Its single overriding ambition was that all work in the UK economy should be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment.
Here are some of the recommendations:
The Review proposed replacing the term ‘worker’ with the term ‘dependent contractor’. The Review attempts to provide a more clear distinction between genuinely self-employed individuals and dependent contractors. The report concluded dependent contractors are most at risk of being taken advantage of by businesses and should therefore be granted additional protections. This includes the right to a written statement of terms which includes a description of their statutory rights.
The Review provided that more emphasis should be given to control a company has over an individual when determining their status, as opposed to the obligation for the individual to perform work personally.
According to the Review, regulation is not the best answer for improving workers’ experiences. Instead, ‘responsible corporate governance, better management and stronger employment relations’, stressing that companies should try to be ‘open about their practices and make sure all their workers are able to be engaged and heard’.
The Review encouraged some big changes to the system, including introducing a mechanism where individuals may have their employment status determined without any fees. The Review also proposed that companies that fail to change the status of their staff after a ruling and taken to tribunal again on the same issue could face penalties.
The Review pushed to amend the law on the National Minimum Wage to make it clear gig-economy workers allocated for through an app are undertaking a form of output work and will not have to be paid NMW for each hour logged on when there is no work available.
The Review suggested those who have worked on a zero-hours contract for 12 months or longer should be given the right to request fixed hours from their employers that better reflect the hours they have actually been working.
The Review also suggested a right that would allow agency workers who have been placed with the same hirer for at least 12 months to request a direct contract of employment. The hirer would be obliged to treat any such requests seriously.