Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry

The Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry will look at new employment models such as those used by Deliveroo and Uber

The Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry launched yesterday to look into the impact of changes to the labour market.

It was revealed last month that Mathew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Arts, would lead the review to address questions on issues such as job security, wage levels and employees’ rights.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launched a separate inquiry into workers’ rights in October. The inquiry will reflect growing public concerns over the employment practices of “digital economy” companies, such as Deliveroo and Uber, and the use of zero hours contracts.

The panel members involved in the review were named as: Paul Broadbent, chief executive of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority; employment lawyer Diane Nicol; and Greg Marsh, who founded home letting company one fine stay.

The team has been appointed to lead a six-month review.

Date Published: 2 November 2016

Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched the future world of work and rights of workers inquiry, focussing on the rapidly changing nature of work, and the status and rights of agency workers, the self-employed, and those working in the ‘gig economy’. The inquiry also looks at issues such as low-pay and poor working conditions for people working in these non-traditional employee roles.

Scope of the Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry

The inquiry follows the Committee’s recent inquiry into working practices at Sports Direct and the Committee’s inquiry on the Digital Economy, which looked at the employment status of workers in the sharing economy.

The inquiry also follows recent news stories about working practices and the use of agency staff at Asos, concerns about couriers at Hermes, and growing questions around the status of those working in the ‘on-demand’ economy, for businesses such as Uber and Deliveroo.

Terms of Reference of the Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry

  1. Is the term ‘worker’ defined sufficiently clearly in law at present? If not, how should it be defined?
    • What should be the status and rights of agency workers, casual workers, and the self-employed (including those working in the ‘gig economy’), for the purposes of tax, benefits and employment law?
  2. For those casual and agency workers working in the ‘gig economy’, is the balance of benefits between worker and employer appropriate?
  3. What specific provision should there be for the protection and support of agency workers and those who are not employees? Who should be responsible for such provision – the Government, the beneficiary of the work, a mutual, the individual themselves?
  4. What differences should there be between levels of Government support for the self-employed and for employees? For example, over statutory sick pay, holiday pay, employee pensions, maternity pay
    • How should those rights be changed, to ensure fair protection for workers at work?
    • What help should be offered in preparing those people who become self-employed? With, for example, financial, educational and legal advice), and who should be offering such help?
  5. Is there evidence that businesses are treating agency workers unfairly, compared with employees?
  6. Should there be steps taken to constrain the use by businesses of agency workers?
  7. What are the issues surrounding terms and conditions of employees? Including the use of zero-hour contracts, definitions of flexible contracts, the role of the Low Pay Commission, and minimum wage enforcement?
  8. What is the role of trade unions in representing the self-employed and those not working in traditional employee roles?

What Happens Next?

The Committee are asking for written submissions by Monday 19 December 2016.

Evidence sessions will begin early in 2017.

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Future World of Work and Rights of Workers Inquiry


Kathryn is a highly experienced HR Manager with a wealth of skills and knowledge acquired across a variety of industries including manufacturing, health and social care and financial services. She has worked in small localised business and larger multi sited organisations and is comfortable liaising with senior managers and union officials as well as answering queries from team members. Connect with Kathryn on:

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