Date Published: 25-07-2017

The Matthew Taylor Review is a massive 115 page Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy that was requested by the government. Whilst it’s not the most thrilling piece of literature you’ll ever read it is an important and long awaited series of recommendations which could transform work in the UK in the 21st century.  We’ve been analysing it’s findings and picking out some of the highlights…

Flexible Working and the Gig Economy:

With the new wave of companies like Uber and Deliveroo came the gig economy, where self-employed people are paid per delivery or pick up of people or goods and are therefore flexible with how and when they work. The issue is that in some respects, companies treat gig economy workers like employees by expecting set hours yet the ‘employees’ don’t get any of the benefits that PAYE employees get.

This is where the suggestion for a “dependent” contractor status came in, where if a worker who would traditionally be flexible and move from job to job stays in the same company and depends on them for work, they would be given the same rights as employees.

Temporary Workers ‘right to request’:

Currently there also are tens of thousands of people in the UK who temp through agencies to the same companies indefinitely. Whilst every PAYE worker in the UK is entitled to paid holiday, many temporary workers don’t actually get an annual leave allowance and instead get accrued holiday bundled into their wages, unlike their permanent colleagues.

The Taylor Review suggested that after a year of working “temporarily” for the same company, you should be offered a permanent contract by said company to make working equal for everyone.

More clarity is needed:

Currently, the government website is a labyrinth to navigate and find information on employment law for both employees and employers. The report suggests making such information easily accessible and promoted better in order to bring down the costs of taking on a new employee, as well as giving employees an easier way to find out what their rights are.

What we think:

The key point they make for us as recruiters is that if there is such a thing as a dependent contractor, it logically follows that there is such a thing as an independent contractor, thus strengthening the position of professional contractors in the UK job market.

We think there needs to be more education on what exactly a professional contractor is in order to help expand the contract market, because often employers think that a contractor is just someone who moves around jobs a lot when in fact, that’s not the case. Some of the professional contractors we work with have been on the same contract for many years!

The Matthew Taylor Report strikes a good balance between allowing for flexibility around employment models which is good for economic growth with the need to protect the most vulnerable works in the UK from one way arrangements that only benefit their employers.

Overall it was a well thought out and necessary review into working practices because the world and the way we work is constantly changing and therefore the government needs to keep both eyes open in order to make employment fair for everyone.

*For further reading, please check out some of the sources below:

The full Taylor Review:

Eastern Daily Press:

BBC News At A Glance Guide: