Government launches consultations on employment status

Businesses and employers will have the chance to feedback on the details of proposals announced today as part of the government's Good Work plan.

Close up of employment contract signing
As part of its response to the Taylor Review into modern working practices, published today, the government has announced plans to launch four consultations to inform the future employment law landscape.The move is in support of its aims to better safeguard UK workers and ensure quality work for all.

Improving fairness and transparency

Tied to the government’s Good Work plan’s goals of enshrining quality working practices, transparency and fair pay, the government has said before it makes changes it will work with business and representatives on the complex issues of:
  • enforcement of employment rights recommendations
  • agency workers recommendations
  • measures to increase transparency in the UK labour market
  • employment status.
The consultations are also likely to be relevant in the global mobility, taxation and employment law environments. The government further announced it will work with industry to consider developing online tools for self-employed people to come together and discuss issues that are affecting them.
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Differentiating workers, employees and associated rights

Welcoming the announcements, Tania Bowers, general counsel at APSCo, said the representative body welcomed the government’s desire for clarity. This is particularly on employment status and how this is aligned to tax status; workers’ rights and entitlements; and the differentiation between employed, workers and self-employed.“The employment status consultation, in particular, which will be open for 16 weeks, is extremely broad, complex and ambitious,” said Ms Bowers."

Flexibility still key

“As we stressed when we gave evidence during the Taylor review, many of our members supply independent contractors and it is vital that working in this way remains an attractive option for highly skilled consultants who drive much of the dynamism and flexibility in the economy," Ms Bowers added, reflecting wider reaction calling for the laws to continue to support flexibility.“We hope that the outcome of this exercise offers greater clarity so that these professionals can supply their services without the current level of confusion over their employment and tax status."
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Read more about the future of the UK business in the Winter issue of our magazine
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