A Government commissioned review into the status of people working in the so-called ‘gig’ economy could have a serious impact on future National Insurance bills for employers.
The Taylor review has called for more people to be classified in the worker category which would be renamed as ‘dependent contractors’ entitling them to extra rights such as paid holiday, sick leave, maternity or paternity pay and the national minimum wage.
High profile employment tribunals involving firms like Uber and Amazon triggered the Taylor review of the gig economy where an estimated one million plus people work in areas like consultancy, delivery and skilled manual jobs like plumbing and building.
Dependent contractors, says Mr Taylor, should receive a wider range of benefits and protection to give them fair and equal standing in the workforce.
But what does this mean for employers?
While this may have been a Government commissioned report, it’s not legislation and it remains to be seen whether it does in fact trigger any new law.
Employers would be obliged to pay National Insurance for the newly classified workers, leading to a big increase in the coffers for HMRC.
The comprehensive review has echoed the general willingness of employment tribunals to categorise more individuals as workers rather than self employed, with the additional rights to paid holiday, rest breaks and national minimum wage that status brings.
Only time will tell what the Government response will be to the Taylor report but any employers concerned about correctly categorising the employment status of their casual workers, employees and self-employed contractors should seek legal advice.