Share your views on modern employment practices
21 April 2017
The deadline for the submission of evidence is 17 May 2017.
The issues around the gig economy have and continue to receive a lot of attention and last year the Prime Minister asked Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, to carry out a study on the employment implications in the gig economy. In November 2016 the review was launched with a regional tour to discuss the UK’s labour market; speaking to workers and employers working in sectors such as the gig and rural economies and manufacturing, to fully understand the impact of modern working practices and how different labour markets work.
The review will consider the implications of new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities - as well as on employer freedoms and obligations.
An online site has been created where you can submit ideas and debate the issues surrounding the Taylor Review.
OTS focus paper on tax implications in the 'Gig' economy
The OTS also published a focus paper in November 2016 which raises some of the tax issues and implications that arise from the gig economy. The aim is to promote discussion on the issues and to ensure that tax aspects are considered.
The paper outlines in short what the Gig, Sharing and Platforms are:
- 'Gig' is where organisations and independent workers contract for short-term engagements
- 'Sharing' in this context means generating money by sharing or renting out assets
- 'Platform' is the use of IT systems to facilitate/connect opportunities for gig/sharing.
The OTS considers that tax issues are raised by gig working (and to an extent by sharing) in a number of ways, especially as one’s status for tax and for employment rights are not always the same:
- the individual worker who contracts for a gig: are they employed or self-employed for tax purposes? How do they interact with the tax system? Is the system simple for them?
- the platform operator: could they become more involved beyond simply sorting out their own tax position?
- the individual or company who is offering the gig: does the hirer have any role?
- HMRC: the tax system has existing rules, systems to gather data and ways of assessing that will apply to those working in the Gig and Sharing Economies, just as to the generality of taxpayers. But what of the practicalities? What about knowing who the individuals are in the first place and then managing the increased monitoring load?
- the Exchequer: does gig working mean lower tax receipts, particularly of employer NICs?
The OTS will be considering the impact of these issues in their future projects and may carry out further work in the area. The OTS continue to welcome all comments to help inform their work so if you have any thoughts please contact them by email.
Employment status review
The current employment framework means a person’s entitlement to employment rights is determined by their employment status.
- employee – entitled to a full range of employment rights: the National Minimum and Living Wage, annual leave, rest breaks, maternity, paternity and adoption leave, right not to be treated less favourably as a part-time worker, right not to be treated less favourably as a fixed-term employee, right to request flexible working, protection from discrimination at work, minimum notice periods, collective redundancy consultation, statutory redundancy pay, protection from unfair dismissal and TUPE.
- worker – entitled to a range but not all employment rights: the National Minimum and Living Wage, annual leave, rest breaks, right not to be treated less favourably as a part-time worker, protection from discrimination at work.
- self-employed – no entitlement to employment rights beyond basic health and safety and anti-discrimination framework.
The Employment status review (2015) report was commissioned under the coalition government and submitted to the Minister for Employment Relations in March 2015. The data in the report was updated in December 2015. It has recently been placed in the public domain in the interests of transparency and to help inform the Taylor Review.
The findings and recommendations from the Taylor Review are due to be published later in 2017.