The long-awaited Taylor review of modern employment practices has called for greater clarity over employment status to distinguish those who are genuinely self employed from those whose employers are using self employment to avoid employment rights.
The review also calls for employment rights to be extended to all workers, including the self employment, and for a consistent taxation policy across employment forms.
It puts an emphasis on ensuring all work is fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment, but it says that quality work depends on what people want from work. It states that people are driven by different motivations at different points in their career and so “what represents quality to them now may not represent quality ten years later”.
It also states that pay is not the only determinant of quality work. Other factors could include work life balance and personal development. It adds that people are most likely to enjoy what they do when they have “a meaningful say” at work.
Meanwhile, another report by the centre-right think tank Reform says Government services to help unemployed people find jobs are not keeping pace with changes in the way people work and calls for Job Centres to do more to promote gig economy jobs.
The Reform report says rigid work patterns prevent many disadvantaged jobseekers, such as older or disabled people and women, from finding jobs. It says older and disabled people are three times less likely to succeed through the Government’s main welfare-to-work programme. The study says there are some four million unemployed people who could benefit from more flexible employment support.
The Reform study calls for incentives to support such jobseekers into flexible work and argues that the replacement of the Work Programme later this Parliament is opportunity to test these new ideas.
The Government has announced a much greater role for Jobcentre Plus in welfare-to-work services. Reform recommends that Jobcentre Work Coaches be trained to help their clients find gigwork, including training about different platforms.
The report also calls for the Government’s online jobs board, Universal Jobmatch, to be redesigned so jobseekers can use it to find gig work. At present, it says, there is only a brief description of a small number of platforms on the website.
Ben Dobson, Researcher at Reform, said: “The current debate around the gig economy is too negative. Whilst there are teething problems for the Government to address, it is equally important that they harness the opportunity it presents for people who can only work flexibly. This is crucial for the wellbeing of millions of jobseekers.”