The government appointed Matthew Taylor (a former adviser to the Blair government) to report on reforms necessary to the workplace to recognise modern workplace practices. His report contained some key proposals, including:
- Place more emphasis on control in the definition of "worker status"
- Treat workers treated as "employed" for the purposes of tax status
- Extend the right to a written statement of terms to workers as well as employees
- Extend written statement of terms to include description of statutory rights
- Give a stand-alone right to compensation if employer has not given written statement
- Preserve continuity of employment where any gap in employment is less than one month, rather than one week
- Improve the information to be given to agency workers
- Increase the reference period for calculating holiday pay (where pay is variable) from 12 weeks to 52 weeks
- Allow holiday pay to be paid on a "rolled up basis"
- Give agency workers the right to request a direct contract with the end user after 12 months on an assignment
- Give those on zero-hours contracts the right to request guaranteed hours after 12 months
- Require employers to set up Information and Consultation arrangements when requested by just 2 percent of the workforce rather than the current 10 percent
- Give HMRC enforcement powers in respect of sick pay and holiday pay as well as minimum wage issues
- Place the burden on the employer in a Tribunal claim to prove that claimant is not an employee/worker
- Allow uplifts in compensation where employer commits subsequent breaches of employment law based on similar working arrangements to those already dealt with by a Tribunal
Time will tell which ones make it to the statute book, but the government has committed to making the workplace fairer for those who may have lacked protection to date.
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