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The Taylor Review of the “Gig” Economy

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.