UPDATED: Taylor ‘Gig Workers’ Reforms Delayed – Areas For Consultation

Matthew Taylor – report shelved until next year because of Brexit

Proposed reforms to employment rights for ‘gig workers’ proposed by Mathew Taylor in his report earlier this year have been delayed until 2018 – a sure sign that Brexit is sucking up much of Government time to deal with domestic policy.

Reports suggested that the Government would say before the end of the year, what if any of Taylor’s report they intended to implement – notably in regard to precarious work.

Unions had criticised Taylor’s report as disappointing and a missed opportunity and disappointing.

But now the report has been shelved amid growing concern that any reforms to give more rights to gig workers would face parliamentary opposition from the right-wing of the Conservative Party, especially from Brexiteers who are looking to completely break with EU employment rights in order to turn the UK into a low wage, low pay, ‘poundshop’ Britian.

Back channel indications were that following the number of high profile court cases (Uber, Pimlico Plumbers and others) that employments rights would be announced would make gig workers such as ride hailing drivers, couriers and drivers national minimum wage, sick pay and holiday pay.

Indications were that the ending of the abuse of the ‘Swedish Derogation’ which allows companies to pay agency workers rates of pay below the rate for the job for the duration of their assignment

Mrs. May appointed Taylor in October 2016 and told the nation she would “be driven not by the interests of the privileged few” but people such as those “who have a job but you don’t always have job security” and five months after the reports publication Margot James, the business minister, told parliament: “I am determined that we consider the report very carefully and we will respond fully by the end of the year.”

But now the BEIS Department is saying: “Matthew Taylor’s review threw up some complex ideas and was wide-ranging. It is quite right the government gives due attention to the recommendations.”

Taylor confirmed this week that the response is now expected early next year. He said: “I would rather it was later and stronger rather than earlier and weaker.”

With the second phase of Brexit negotiations expected to be even tougher and taking up much of Government’s time the report – weak as it is – could be left on the shelf for longer than Taylor expects.

UPDATE: According to information recived by CTUF the current status of the Taylor reports is that the Government response ‘most likely’ in mid January and is expected to be general response to Taylor’s recommendations.

Also likely to be four consultations – which may be announced simultaneously or be staggered on the following: Employment status; Agency workers – probably an ‘open consultation’ on whether to retain Swedish Derogation. Also whether enforcement powers should be broadened; Transparency – issues covered may include the right to written statement from day one; pay premiums for non-contracted hours; right to request guaranteed hours contract.
Enforcement is likely to include: penalties that can be awarded by Employment Tribunals; penalties for aggravated and repeat offences.
It is suggested that that there is potential for licensing in ‘pilot sectors’ including the garment industry, nail bars and car washes.

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