Commenting on the publication of the Taylor Review, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“The world of work is changing, and it is only right that employment law and practice change with it. Matthew Taylor has rightly recognised that the UK’s flexible labour market is a great source of strength and competitive advantage, but has also recommended some common-sense changes where grey areas have emerged in recent years. We are pleased that he has acknowledged that UK firms already face high costs in addition to wages, and has sought to avoid adding to these burdens at a time of uncertainty and change.
“Civic-minded business leaders across the UK have expressed concerns about the consequences of insecure employment in their local communities in recent years, and recognise there is a two-way bargain that needs to be struck that gives flexibility and security to both employers and employees. Civic businesses will also agree with Taylor on the importance of good-quality work, and opportunities for growth, development and workplace health.
“While the notion of a wage premium in exchange for uncertain working hours is superficially attractive, it could have unforeseen consequences, and push wage costs up elsewhere. Further expert consideration of the potential impact of such a measure on jobs will be needed.
“If the new category of ‘dependent contractors’ proposed by the review is implemented, it must have a clear legal definition to prevent any ambiguity or unintended knock-on effects.
“The government should consult widely with business and employees over the coming months to ensure any response to the Taylor Review is proportionate, fair and above all unbureaucratic.”