Trade unions have given a muted welcome to the review of modern working practices headed by Matthew Taylor.
The review proposed a new worker status of “dependent contractor”, which will cover workers such as Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders.
It concluded that those who fall under “dependent contractor” status are most at risk of being taken advantage of and so suggests that these people are given additional employment rights, such as sick pay and holiday pay.
However, Stephen Cavalier, chief executive of Thompsons Solicitors, said the proposed status complicates existing categories of employment. “This new status is unclear and unnecessary,”
Cavalier added. “Recent employment tribunal rulings have required prominent gig economy employers to pay their workers basic benefits, like sick pay, holiday leave and the National Living Wage. What is needed is for these rights and responsibilities to be clearly set out in legislation.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s no secret that we wanted this review to be bolder. This is not the game-changer needed to end insecurity at work. A ‘right to request’ guaranteed hours is no right at all for many workers trapped on zero-hours contracts. And workers deserve the minimum wage for every minute they work, not just the time employers choose to pay them for.
“But Matthew Taylor is right to call for equal pay for agency staff and sick leave for low-paid workers – something which unions have long campaigned for. The government should move swiftly to implement these recommendations.”