Lawspeed has read and analysed the Taylor review published this week. It is an aspirational document full of recommendations, but as it is only advisory its impact will only really be known if and when the government adopts any of the proposals.
Furthermore, the recommendations could be adopted wholesale, with a light touch, or somewhere in between (a bit like hard or soft Brexit), so it would be rash to try to predict exactly how the legislative framework will change.
However, there are a number of proposals which have a direct relevance to the recruitment sector, a brief description of which appears below:
- Consult on extending the remit of the Employment Agencies Standards (EAS) to cover umbrella companies.
- Ban the use of Swedish Derogation or pay-between-assignments contracts.
- Employment status: Taylor recommends keeping the current three-tier approach to arrangements, but to rename workers ‘dependant contractors’ and align employment and tax status. It remains to be seen how the adoption of this proposal would affect agency worker status.
- Allow rolled up holiday pay. The report also suggests revising the pay reference period for casual worker holiday pay from 12 to 52 weeks.
- Give supplied workers the right to request direct employment with a hirer after 12 months. On paper this could have a huge impact on the supply sector, but again if adopted there are likely to be exceptions to its application.
- Allow individuals on zero hours contracts to request guaranteed hours after a year.
- Introduce an early (fee-free) assessment of employment status before claims reach a full hearing at the employment tribunal, with a presumption of employment, provided that the claimant individual can support this with evidence, potentially from a government-developed online tool.
- Employers to declare their levels of use of agency workers; it is unclear where or how this would be met.
We would welcome your feedback There are numerous other proposals in the review which would have an application wider that just the recruitment sector, but which would affect it nonetheless. What do you think?
Are the recommendations generally positive or could they damage the sector? Do you have any concerns? We would like to hear from you and if you have any questions please do let us know. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Taylor review’.
Lawspeed will of course be keeping a keen eye on the aftermath of the report and on any proposed legislation; given that the government’s focus will be on Brexit for the foreseeable future, it is possible that the review will simply be left to gather dust.