The Taylor Review isn’t the ‘game-changer’ that gig economy workers need

Published date
11 Jul 2017
I worry that many gig economy employers will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning.
Gig employer apps on phone screen

The Taylor Review into modern employment practices publishes today. And from what we’ve seen, it’s not the game-changer needed to end insecurity and exploitation at work.

We’d welcome any nuggets of good news. But it doesn’t look like the report’s recommendations will shift the balance of power in the modern workplace.

There’s nothing on concrete plans to ban the zero hours contract abuse that is growing so quickly in UK workplaces.

A ‘right to request’ guaranteed hours from an exploitative boss is no right at all for many workers. Especially when they’d still have to fork out £1,200 up front before they could take a case to tribunal.

And we’re particularly concerned these proposals might even weaken gig workers’ rights. Introducing a new category of “dependent contractor” looks like caving in to special pleading from app-based companies, who are claiming that they cannot pay the minimum wage like any other employer.

The responsibility now lies with Theresa May to do more to listen to those at the sharp end of the labour market. Vulnerable workers need root and branch change, not just the warm words they had during the election campaign.

Crucially, unions need to be given the right to go into any workplace to check that workers are treated fairly. That’s how we make sure every job is a good job.