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The Taylor Review into modern working practices has recently been published, with Matthew Taylor - and his colleagues on the Taylor Review, writing: “The starting point for our review has been the strength of our labour market and of the key features of our system of employment regulation, what we refer to as the British way.  Record levels of employment, low levels of unemployment, high levels of voluntary flexibility, wages now growing fastest amongst the lowest paid; these facts provide a very positive backdrop – one that would be envied in many other advanced economies – for our consideration of how to improve the quality of work.”

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD (the professional body for HR and people development) commented on the publication, saying, “The Taylor Review has the potential to change how we look at the future of work, which is about quality of work and not simply quantity. Translating the ambition into practice has an added importance given some of the additional challenges we face in the UK, from access to skills to labour market regulation post Brexit.” 

Some proposals suggested in the report include ‘a new role for the Low Pay Commission exploring how to improve quality and progression in sectors with a high proportion of low paid workers; a national framework for employability skills so we can develop the kind of transferable capabilities that can be acquired in formal education and also informal and on the job learning; recognising and supporting the role that employers can play in promoting health and wellbeing at work and making it much easier for employees to access rights to independent representation, information and consultation.’

It further read...‘to increase clarity for business and workers we propose primary legislation to define the boundary between self-employment and worker status; moving towards aligning the categories used in tax regulation and employment regulation and that the employment status boundary should be defined - as is the tax boundary - in terms of the level of control and supervision experienced by individuals.’

Peter Cheese declared, “We have been calling for greater clarity over workers’ rights for a long time, and therefore welcome the main thrust of the recommendations to ensure fairer treatment for gig economy workers without losing the flexibility which we know many of them value. We also support the proposals to clarify people’s employment status and rights and back plans to require employers to provide details of terms and conditions of employment to workers as well as employees.”

He also commented, “While we welcome the proposals for a stronger test of supervisory relationships in order to ensure workers get the benefits they are entitled to, we need to ensure that the framework for enforcing this is practical, otherwise we risk discouraging employers from providing flexible roles and opportunities that many people benefit from.” 

Peter Cheese added, “Crucially, Taylor stresses that the best way to improve the quality of work is through effective corporate governance, good management and strong employment relations within organisations and flags the need to boost productivity and job quality through working more closely with low pay employers and sectors. It is vital the Government develops these ideas as part of industrial strategy to ensure that the Taylor Review has lasting impact on work quality in the UK.”