The Government published its Good Work Plan (GWP) in December 2018 which arose out of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. The GWP outlined the Government’s commitment to the UK employment market, which included providing clarity of employment status for workers.
In particular, the Government had committed to legislating to provide more clarity on the legal tests used to help determine a person’s employment status, e.g. whether they are an employee, worker or self-employed (the three-tiered framework). Disputes over employment status often arise in the employment tribunal because an individual’s status determines the extent of employment rights that they are entitled to.
The Government has published its response to this consultation and ultimately, the position is that at this time there are no plans to legislate on employment status. In its reasoning, the Government notes that a lot has happened since the GWP in 2018, including a global pandemic and that the current three-tiered framework provides the right balance for businesses.
In particular, the response states that “…the benefits of creating a new framework for employment status are currently outweighed by the risk associated with legislative reform. Whilst such reform could help bring clarity in the long term, it might create cost and uncertainty for businesses in the short term, at a time where they are focusing on recovering from the pandemic.”
For now, it seems safe to say that we can expect no immediate changes but who knows what the future may hold. If you would like any guidance on employment status, please contact a member of the Employment Team.