The Government will today set out the biggest package of workplace reforms for over twenty years, with ambitious reforms to ensure the UK leads the world in meeting the challenges of the changing world of work.
Building on the Government's commitment to high-quality work, the package of new legislation and measures, set to be unveiled by the business secretary, Greg Clark, will ensure workers can access fair and decent work. They will provide and give businesses greater clarity on their obligations and ensure the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose.
Today’s announcement takes forward 51 of the 53 recommendations made by Matthew Taylor in his review, some of which have gone further than review, of modern working practices. It is hoped that the reforms will cement the UK’s status as a world leader in workers’ rights now and well into the future and will be the first country in the world to address the opportunities and challenges of the gig economy and the changing world of work, and its impact on a modern economy.
They form a key part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK.
The new legislation introduced today will:
The Government is also committing to legislate to improve the clarity of the employment status tests to reflect the reality of the modern working relationships.
Business secretary, Greg Clark, said: “The UK has a labour market of which we can be proud. We have the highest employment rate on record, increased participation amongst historically under-represent groups and wages growing at their fastest pace in almost a decade.
“This success has been underpinned by policies and employment law which strikes an effective balance between flexibility and worker protections but the world of work is changing, bringing new opportunities for innovative businesses and new business models to flourish, creating jobs across the country and boosting our economy.
"With new opportunity also comes new challenges and that is why the Government asked Matthew Taylor to carry out this first-of-a-kind review, to ensure the UK continues to lead the world, through our modern Industrial Strategy, in supporting innovative businesses whilst ensuring workers have the rights they deserve.
“Today’s largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation is a key part of building a labour market that continues to reward people for hard work, that celebrates good employers and is boosting productivity and earning potential across the UK.
“I would like to thank Matthew Taylor and Sir David Metcalf for their leadership. Today’s reforms build on our pledge to build an economy that works for everyone.”
As part of its major reforms to upgrade workers right and improve the quality of work the Government is also today responding to the Labour Market Strategy set out by Sir David Metcalf, the director of labour market enforcement, with detailed plans to tackle exploitation of low paid workers, including:
Sir David Metcalf, said: “I welcome the Government's response to my UK Labour Market Enforcement Strategy for 2018/19. I am extremely grateful to the three enforcement bodies for their engagement and help during the development of the strategy and for the constructive approach they have taken throughout with a view to strengthening labour market enforcement across the UK.
“I am pleased that the vast majority of my 37 recommendations have been accepted, including my recommendations regarding a shift to more proactive enforcement and improving joint working between the three enforcement bodies under my remit and wider organisations within labour market enforcement.”
The plans set out today in the Good Work Plan, the Government’s response to the independent Matthew Taylor review of the impact of modern working practices, and the response to the Director of Labour Market Enforcement’s Strategy, build on the Government’s record of action to build a fairer economy for everyone, including:
The Government is also committing to legislate to improve the clarity of the employment status tests to reflect the reality of modern working relationships. In addition, the Government has published the Low Pay Commission’s letter on potential options to address the issue of ‘one-sided flexibility’, which the Taylor Review described as the issue where some businesses have transferred too much business risk to the individual.
The reforms announced today reflect the views expressed by Matthew Taylor in his review into Modern Working Practice that:
Measures outlined in the package form part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, published last year, which sets out how the whole of the UK can build on its strengths, extend them into the future, and capitalise on new opportunities.
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