The ‘gig’ economy is a phrase that has been increasingly used over the past few years, being characterised by the use of short-term contracts and freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs. This has given employers a great deal of flexibility, but on the other hand leaves employees with little workplace protection.
Over the past few years there have been numerous cases played through the courts, which has accumulated in the publication of the Taylor Review, making recommendations for working practices. The general advice to the government is that, all work should be “fair and decent”. But what does this actually mean for employers?
The main impact is likely to be on employers who have workers on zero hours contracts or who employ a significant number of short-term agency staff. Mr Taylor made several recommendations in the review, some of which are:
- To provide “good work” for all by providing a baseline of protection for employees.
- To create a new category of worker, the “dependant contractor”. This would be for people who work for platform-based companies, such as Deliveroo and Uber, granting them fairness at work
- Ensuring that the National Living Wage is complied with by all employers.
The review also proposed a number of other recommendations which can be viewed at gov.uk. Clearly these could be significant changes for employers. However, as this is only guidance, it is unclear what weight the government will place on the report and, whether any changes will actually be implemented.