Taylor review praised for proposal to consolidate employment laws

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Jul 12, 2017
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The Law Society said the existing web of legislation was “not fit for modern work”

Paul Rogers for The Times

Employment specialists may have dismissed much of the Taylor Report on the “gig economy” as a damp squib, but the solicitors’ trade union enthusiastically welcomed the proposals as “a clarion call for meaningful reform of our employment laws”.

The Law Society said it was “especially pleased” that the report “heeds our call to clarify employment rights in a single piece of legislation”. The organisation – which represents 130,000 solicitors in England and Wales – described existing employment laws as “overly complex and not fit for modern work”. The society said that current legislation caused “needless confusion”, which meant that “too many people miss out on basic workplace rights”.

The report was formally published today but had been leaked yesterday. Its headline proposal is the creation of a new category in employment law of “dependent contractor”, which the Law Society welcomed as “a practical way of lifting people out of false self-employment and giving them clear minimum rights, without closing the door to new and flexible ways of working”.

According to the society’s new president, Joe Egan, “the current law, which depends on someone taking their own employer to court, is clearly not working, letting bad employers exploit vulnerable staff and deny them their rights”.

Egan praised the review’s call for employment status to be determined without workers being charged punitive tribunal fees. “Only independent government enforcement of employment rights can challenge bad employers on a level playing field,” he said.

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