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22 March 2019
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7 August 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal


In June, the government published Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

The review considers the implications of new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities, as well as on employer freedoms and obligations. It sets out seven steps towards fair and decent work and contains several principles to address the challenges facing the UK labour market. It also includes recommendations relevant to the FM industry, such as on zero-hours contracts, productivity, flexible working, health and well-being, education and training and the National Living/Minimum Wage.

Sofie Hooper, senior policy adviser at the British Institute of Facilities Management, said: “We welcome the acknowledgement that better-designed work can make an important contribution to tackling the complex challenge of low productivity. This ties in with the findings of The Workplace Advantage report by The Stoddart Review that a more effective workplace can improve productivity by 1 per cent to 3.5 per cent – potentially delivering a £20 billion uplift to the UK economy.

BIFM contributed to the Taylor Review by making the case for a more flexible approach to the new Apprenticeship scheme, for example, by opening it up to non-apprenticeship training opportunities. As part of its submission, the institute also shared The Workplace Advantage report, Agile Working Change Management Guidance Note and Mind the Pay Gap: The Living Wage and Zero Hours (a Leaders’ Forum discussion paper). 

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the government would respond to the report in detail later in the year. But it was indicated that while there was a need to avoid overbearing regulation, the government would make sure people have the rights and protections they need and that any potential proposals would retain the flexibility that people value and that the government would be looking to increase the National Living Wage. 

Neil Carberry, CBI managing director for people and infrastructure, noted several proposals in the review that are “a cause for concern” – citing particularly the recommendations to rewrite current employment status tests. Other areas of concern were proposals to reverse the burden of proof on to employers in certain cases at employment tribunals, and the removal of provision for pay between assignments within the agency worker regulations.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB)called the review “deeply disappointing”, saying it partly misrepresented the law by “failing to recognise that not only are workers already self-employed under employment law but that workers already have rights to minimum wage, holiday pay and others. The combination of rights and flexibility that Taylor seeks to achieve is already accessible to workers”.

The union also said the review had left “many unanswered questions, notably relating to early Deliveroo investor Greg Marsh, corporate solicitor Diane Nicol and the mind-boggling exclusion of any worker or trade union representative”. 

It added: “Most of the proposals are so vague they are next to meaningless and some of the substantial suggestions, such as suggested changes to the minimum wage, could make workers in the so-called ‘gig economy’ worse off”.