Advertisement
Employment

Taylor review into the gig economy dismissed as ‘feeble’

Government report recommends cutting employment tribunal fees, but is criticised for failing to understand the scale of causalisation

The issue of low-paid and insecure work is one of the thorniest and important problems facing the British economy.

The government took it seriously enough to commission a major review into the so-called gig economy and the major shift in employment practices. Today, the Taylor review released its long-awaited report, and the reaction was a widespread shrug of the shoulders.

Some of the country’s biggest trade union have already criticised the report for falling short of recognized the scale of change that has already taken place in so many fields.

Unite said the Taylor review “spectacularly failed to deliver,” while the GMB called it a “disappointing missed opportunity.” Thompsons Solicitors, a firm specialising in workers’ rights, dismissed it as “feeble.”

In his report, the former 10 Downing Street policy chief Matthew Taylor (pictured above) recommended that the government reduce the cost of employment tribunal fees.

He also laid out seven “principles” for “fair and decent work”. But there was precious little detail how the government should tackle zero hours contracts or the shift toward spurious use of self-employment to deny workers permanent contracts.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Little either on how best to adjust to the disruptive digital technology undercutting the tradition of collective bargaining, despite the explosion in new app-based service providers such as Uber.

We got a depressing sense that insecurity is the inevitable new norm

“The report does nothing to address the rampaging growth in forced self-employment,” said Unite leader Len McCluskey.

“One in six workers in this country fall into this category, denied sick pay, holiday pay, their basic rights and a pension. Neither will it address bogus self-employment, and the unacceptable use of zero hours and agency work to deny someone a permanent, full-time job.”

McCluskey added: “Instead of the serious programme the country urgently needs to ensure that once again work pays in this country from Taylor we got a depressing sense that insecurity is the inevitable new norm. We will not accept that.”

Taylor did suggest there should be a clear separation made between so-called gig economy workers and those who choose to be self-employed.

Gig economy workers should be considered “dependent contractors” and be given stronger employment protections. Such suggestions imply it is simply up to companies to treat their contractors better.

Prime Minister Theresa May defended the review, saying it would ensure “the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.”

Advertisement

Support The Big Issue Winter Appeal

Big Issue vendors can’t work from home and with severe weather warnings on the cards, they face a very tough and uncertain Winter period ahead.

Recommended for you

Read All
NHS should explore four-day work week to ease staffing crisis, says top doctor
NHS

NHS should explore four-day work week to ease staffing crisis, says top doctor

How to retrain for a new job when you're over 50
Retrain

How to retrain for a new job when you're over 50

The UK could be 2.6 million workers short by 2030
Employment

The UK could be 2.6 million workers short by 2030

Tory MP on Women and Equalities Committee calls ethnicity pay gap ‘meaningless’
Ethnicity pay gap

Tory MP on Women and Equalities Committee calls ethnicity pay gap ‘meaningless’

Most Popular

Read All
Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am
1.

Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am

What are the Kill the Bill protests?
2.

What are the Kill the Bill protests?

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'
3.

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party
4.

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party