Taylor Review and the Government’s ‘Good Work plan’: Our Response

8 February 2018

We welcome the Government’s response to the Taylor Review on modern employment practices. We were pleased that the Business Under-Secretary Andrew Griffiths reiterated that the Government wants the creation of quality jobs, not just a large quantity of jobs. The challenge now is how to translate this into action.

Offering high quality of apprenticeships is another key focus for Learning and Work Institute, so again it was encouraging that apprentice pay was raised in the Commons debate by Robert Halfon, the chair of the Education Select Committee. We welcome the Minister’s response that apprentices are on the Government’s radar and that the Government is going to ‘beef up’ the enforcement teams in ensuring that apprentices are paid fairly. Our research shows around one in four employers do not know the rules around apprentice pay and we need to tackle this.

We were pleased to contribute to the Review as we know that despite the UK’s relatively high overall employment rates by international standard not enough of those jobs reach a good enough quality standard.

At the moment around 5 million people in work are paid below the Living Wage including many in the ‘gig economy’ that the Taylor Review highlighted. This means that many people experience in-work poverty, which in turn leads to low productivity, limited career opportunities and a lack of business prosperity for the UK. Our research shows that providing people on low incomes with advice and support can help them build their careers and boost their earnings.

We welcome the Government’s announcement that it will publicise the rights of workers to make sure everyone knows what they entitled to and that HMRC will more rigorously enforce the rights of workers in precarious employment.

It’s good that the Government intends to better enforce holiday and sick pay entitlements, and allow flexible workers to demand more stable contracts. But we need more action to build rights, tackle perverse incentives in the tax system, particularly National Insurance, and do more to set ‘good work’ as a national goal.

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive