Six things HR needs to know about the Taylor review

From shaking up employment status to harsher punishments at tribunals, here’s a lowdown on the key facts

Almost a year after it was first announced, the Taylor review into modern working practices has been published this morning. Here are six things HR should take note of in the long-awaited report:

‘Worker’ status could be scrapped

The Taylor review proposed dropping ‘worker’ status for that of ‘dependent contractor’, in a bid to distinguish more clearly between those who are genuinely self-employed and those who are not. The review added that more weight should be given to the concept of control when determining employment status, as opposed to the concept of substitution or whether a worker can nominate somebody else to do a job for them. Because the report also concluded that dependent contractors are most at risk of being taken advantage of by businesses, it suggested that those who fall under this category should be granted additional protections.

You might need to get the calculator out for minimum wage

The report called for those running platform-based working – essentially, platforms that connect workers with customers who want a service – to be able to show they are paying their average worker 1.2 times the national minimum wage.

More red tape may not be the answer

According to Matthew Taylor and his team, regulation is not the best answer for improving workers’ experiences. Instead, the review called for responsible corporate governance, better management and stronger employment relations, stressing that companies should strive to be open about their practices and make sure all their workers are engaged and feel heard.

Companies dragged before a tribunal could face bigger consequences

Although Taylor told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the report did not go as far as calling for tribunal fees to be scrapped, it did advocate some big changes to the system, including introducing a mechanism where people can have their employment status determined without having to pay tribunal fees. The review also called for businesses that don’t pay awards from tribunal rulings within a reasonable timeframe to be named and shamed, while those companies that fail to change the status of their staff after a tribunal ruling and get hauled up in front of a judge again on the same issue could be hit with penalties.

Zero-hours workers could soon be requesting a more regular schedule

As reported earlier, the review suggested the creation of a right that would allow those who have worked on a zero-hours contract for 12 months or longer to request fixed hours from their employers that better reflect the hours they have actually been working.

And agency workers could be asking for more stability, too

Much like the zero-hours contracts right, the Taylor review also suggested a right that would allow agency workers who have been placed with the same hirer for at least 12 months to request a direct contract of employment. The hirer would be obliged to treat any such requests seriously.