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Shake up for employment law?
04 October 2016

On 1 October Theresa May announced there will be an ‘Employment Law Review’ to deal with the growing trends towards innovation and flexibility across different working environments and employment models.

What is the review?

The review is to be led by Tony Blair’s former Policy Chief Matthew Taylor. Taylor has said that the goal at the heart of the review is “that the fast changing modern labour market is one that should offer citizens growing opportunity and control”. Unfortunately there are no firm details yet to confirm what the plan is for the review, what activities it will involve or how long it will take, all we know is that it will be a high level review of employment law.

Why is there a review?

In a market with rapidly changing business models and working practices the UK’s employment laws fail to protect an estimated 6 million people who work flexibly and may need better protections. In particular, it will look at how new forms of work might undermine the effectiveness of policies such as the minimum wage, maternity and paternity rights, pensions auto-enrolment, sick pay and holiday pay. The review will assess the reasons for these imbalances and how they can be redressed.

May has said “the UK has one of the strongest labour markets in the world – with record numbers of people in work, and an unemployment rate almost half the EU average. That’s a proud record, but if we are to build a country that works for everyone – not just the privileged few – we need to be certain that employment regulation and practices are keeping pace with the changing world of work”

What will the review mean and how could it affect employers?

It is not clear at this stage what the review means for employers, but they should be aware that it is intended for those conducting the review to get out and about among society to find out what experiences people are really having around the workplace, how work affects their daily lives and to hear first-hand from individuals why they may feel anxious about their job security or stress at work.

Taylor is very much taking an open mind to the review so anything could happen. Whilst it doesn’t automatically mean an overhaul of employment legislation the real question is can Government do more to protect the estimated 1 in 5 non-standard workers?

Want to hear more?

Watch this space to find out more on how the review progresses and what its final recommendations are in our future bulletins. Sign up here.

For more information about this issue or to find out more about how the Employment team can help you, please contact the team on 0118 952 7284 or email [email protected].

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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