The “gig economy” (where individuals are engaged by businesses on a flexible, ad hoc basis – e.g. Uber drivers) has recently presented problems for determining employment status.
The Taylor Review commissioned by the Government has been published and makes a number of recommendations designed to improve the working conditions of workers and individuals working in the gig economy.
The review makes a number of recommendations, including the following:
- Give those on zero-hour contracts the right to request guaranteed hours after 12 months;
- Improve the information to be given to agency workers and give them the right to request a direct contract with the end user after 12 months on an assignment;
- Rename workers who are not employees “dependent contractors”;
- Remove the requirement for workers to have a contract to perform work personally;
- Amend the law on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) to make it clear that gig-economy workers undertaking a form of output work will not have to be paid the NMW for each hour logged when there is no work available;
- Extend the right to a written statement of terms to workers as well as employees and require the statement to be issued by employers on day one of employment;
- Give a right to compensation if the employer has not provided a written statement to the employee;
- Consider increasing the NMW for hours that are not guaranteed by the employer;
- Reform Statutory Sick Pay to make it a proper employment right available to all workers;
- Require larger employers to report on their overall workforce structure – including requests from zero-hour workers for regular hours; and
- Give HMRC enforcement powers in respect of sick pay, holiday pay and minimum wage issues.
Some of the above recommendations would require a substantial amount of work to turn them into law.