Organisations representing the employment sector have offered broad-terms support to the new government-backed review of modern employment practices.
The long-awaited review from Royal Society of Arts chief executive Matthew Taylor has outlined a number of new measures to make employment law more reflective of the realities of modern work, including the introduction of a new “dependent contractor” status for gig economy workers.
Responding to the publication, the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) has praised the review’s acknowledgement of the importance of the flexible workforce and umbrella companies, as well as the moves to enhance pay transparency within the sector.
However, Julia Kermode, chief executive of the FCSA, also expressed concerns that the new dependent contractor status may prove difficult to implement in practice, suggesting it could be difficult to determine the right status of workers without comprehensive support.
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) was more positive about the measure, with director of operations Samantha Hurley saying it is to be welcomed that the review aims to create a “clear differentiation between this group of workers and independent contractors who willingly choose to exchange traditional job security for flexibility and control”.
Nevertheless, Ms Kermode voiced disappointment about the focus on the “lower-skilled, lower-paid end of the spectrum”, saying more should have been done during the review to promote the interests of the high-skilled, well-paid contractors that are playing such a crucial role in supporting the economy at present.
Finally, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) praised Mr Taylor’s recommendation to align tax and employment status, while reiterating its call for a statutory definition of self-employment to prevent the new dependent contractor status from becoming a blunt instrument that hampers workforce flexibility.