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24th January 2019

Upcoming Employment Law changes – the Taylor Review responses

In July 2017, the UK Government commissioned and published an independent review of ‘Modern Working Practices (namely the ‘Taylor Review’)’ which sought to modernise UK employment law practices to ensure a consistently fair labour market and an evolving legal and social landscape towards the attitudes of employment. Briefly, the independent Taylor Review discovered the need for change and made key recommendations for the Government, which included:

  • To clarify the different employment status definitions by creating new legislation and renaming ‘workers’ to ‘dependent contractors’ (in determining the difference between ‘worker’ and ‘independent contractor’));
  • All workers should be ‘employees’ for tax purposes which would draw a better distinction between the employed/self-employed tax rules;
  • To provide higher than the current national minimum wage to zero-hours workers who have non-guaranteed working hours, and the right for zero-hours workers to request guaranteed work after 12 months of engagement;
  • Holiday pay should be calculated on a 52 week basis, rather than the current 12 week period.
  • Statutory Sick Pay should be paid to all workers (not just employees), in the same way as holiday and NMW is, and that SSP should accrue with length of service;
  • For employers to adopt a more pro-active approach to a healthier workplace and to encourage employees to engage in more formal and informal learning as well as on the job and off the job activities.

The Government, in December 2018, responded to the Taylor Review and agreed to most of the recommendations. Further consultations will take place on most recommendations, but some of the Government’s commitments include:

  • Clarifying the tests for ‘employment status’ and the use of an online tool to determine ‘employment status’;
  • Making zero-hour contracts more predictable and certain;
  • Banning deductions from staff tips;
  • Requiring written statements of terms for all workers to be provided from day one of employment (to take effect from 6 April 2020) and;
  • Making it easier for casual staff to establish continuity of employment.
  • Extending the reference period for holiday pay to 52 weeks.

One legislated proposal which will require employers’ immediate attention is that, from 6th April 2019, all workers must received itemised payslips stating the hours worked and pay earned. This is extended from the current requirement only to provide itemised payslips to ‘employees’. However, due to the need for further consultation on the current flux of the ‘worker/self-employed’ (i.e. Uber) debate, employers could be, understandably, confused on whether they engage /workers/ or /self-employed and how this would impact their administrative/payslip obligations.

If you’re unsure on which type of employment relationships your business engages with, or want to discuss the impact of the Government’s responses to the Taylor Review on your business, call us on 0845 459 1724 or contact us through the website.

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