HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have recently carried out research on the 'sharing economy' – by which people share skills, resources, time or property with one another without cash changing hands. There are a number of websites that facilitate such...
As we all know, the way many of us work has changed. The idea of a "job for life" is probably a thing of the past and, for many of us, doing more than one job at a time is how we earn our living.
The Government commissioned the Taylor Review in response to the blurring of the lines between the self-employed, the employed and workers in the gig economy, highlighted by new ways of working applied by the likes of Uber, Deliveroo and City Sprint. However, it did not limit the Review to just those situations, but asked the author, Matthew Taylor, and his team, to take a wide ranging view of the subject.
The Taylor Review changes nothing at the moment, but may prompt the Government to make changes as they consider the recommendations. Some of the key recommendations are as follows:-
- Whilst keeping the distinction between workers and employees, renaming workers who are not employees “dependent contractors” – this could affect Uber drivers and the like
- That workers be treated as “employed” for the purposes of tax status
- That there be a requirement that written statements of Terms and Conditions be given on the first day of employment (and not within 8 weeks as now), and that they be given to workers as well as employees
- That those on zero hours contracts be given a right to request guaranteed hours after 12 months work
- That claimants be allowed to bring a claim with no fee to determine employment status as an initial issue, before bringing their main claim
- In an Employment Tribunal, that the burden be placed on the employer to prove that the claimant is not an employed worker – again, this could catch the Uber type of situation
- Give individuals a right to return to work following long-term sickness absence
The Review offers many other recommendations and includes a general discussion of the meaning of "work" in today’s world and the need for there to be good quality work for all. Let us wait to see what the Government does with this.