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In October 2016, the Prime Minister commissioned Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and a former policy chief under Tony Blair, to look at how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business needs.
The Review, entitled 'Good Work', considered a range of issues, including the implications of new forms of work, the rise of digital platforms and the impact of new working models on employee and worker rights, responsibilities, freedoms and obligations. It made 53 recommendations – some very specific that could easily be introduced and others that would require further consultation and consideration before being implemented. It also set out some long-term and strategic policy aims.
Among the recommendations were that the status of 'worker' – i.e. those people who are eligible for worker rights but who are not employees – should be retained but renamed 'dependent contractor', with a clearer distinction drawn between the rights of employees, dependent contractors and those who are legitimately self-employed, and that those on zero-hours contracts should be given the right to request guaranteed hours after one year.
The Government has now published its response to the Review, setting out a plan of action for taking forward the recommendations, and launched four consultations on key areas covered. These are: