LITRG calls on unifier to oversee Matthew Taylor goals

(3 minutes to read)

In light of the government's response to the Matthew Taylor review, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) have called for a unifier to oversee the implementation of the 'Good Work' plan.

According to a recent government report, the UK will become one of the first countries to address the challenges of the changing world of work in the modern economy.

The ‘Good Work’ plan is a response to the Taylor Review published last year, which investigated what impact modern working practices are having on the world of work. The review found that the strength of the UK’s labour market is built on flexibility but that a clearer focus is needed on quality of work as well as the quantity of jobs.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, commented, “We recognise the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business.

“We are proud to have record levels of employment in this country but we must also ensure that workers’ rights are always upheld.

“Our response to this report will mean tangible progress towards that goal as we build an economy that works for everyone.”

However, the LITRG have highlighted the huge amount of work that will need to be done in order to implement the recommendations and deliver the plan set out by the government

This will require Government departments to work together, which is why the LITRG have called for a person or body to be appointed to co-ordinate and oversee the implementation of the plan.

LITRG Chair Anne Fairpo, explains, “The ‘Good Work’ plan requires a lot of elements to come together. Government will obviously be delegating to various departments to achieve the objectives here, including, BEIS, HMRC, DWP, Courts Service, GDS, the list goes on. However, in our experience, the more Government departments are involved, the greater the effort required to put together a coherent policy or plan and ensure delivery is effective.

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“There must be absolute alignment between the various departments in their approaches to taking this forward. Ideally, we would like to see the appointment of someone to oversee the implementation of the plan, keep the various departments focused and to produce an annual report on how things are progressing – so that the various action points don’t get lost.”

The Government has acted on all but one of Matthew Taylor’s 53 recommendations. It rejected his proposals to reduce the difference between the National Insurance contributions (NICs) of employees and the self-employed following Budget 2016 and confirmed today that there are no plans to revisit the issue.”

She added, “Taking action against engagers of low-paid workers who use exploitative practises and clarifying what workers should be entitled to expect is good; better still would be to remove the incentives for such exploitation.

“For that reason, it is unfortunate that the Government has decided that changes to the tax and NICs regime is out of scope, whether for employees or the self-employed, when it often seems to be the desire to save tax, and employers’ NICs, that leads to false categorisation of workers and much of the labour market abuses that the Taylor Review attempted to deal with.

“The Government has, however, accepted recommendations introducing a right to request a more stable contract for all workers including those on zero hours and help for workers to enforce sick and holiday rights, and asking the Low Pay Commission to consider introducing a higher rate of the national minimum wage for workers on zero-hour contracts. In terms of the key issue – employment status, there are no firm proposals, but a consultation has been launched.”

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