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Protect workers on traditional contracts

Last updated: 07:21pm 15 February 2019

Last October, the government commissioned Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to review the changing labour market. We await his final report but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.16

Our verdict

This is a promise to protect workers on “traditional” contracts, meaning permanent jobs with employment contracts, as opposed to short-term contracts and freelancers (gig economy), or self-employed people (see ‘Related policies’ below for those).

In October 2016, the government commissioned an independent review of the changing labour market, promising to build on its recommendations in order to protect workers’ rights, including those of workers in the ‘gig’ economy. The report highlighted a number of issues in the British labour market, including low productivity growth, slowdown in real wage growth, increased income insecurity due to more flexible forms of work, regional wage and employment rate imbalance, as well as disparities by gender, ethnicity and age.

In February 2018 the government published it’s response to the review which accepts “a vast majority of the recommendations”, and since then has published its Good work plan which includes consultations on how to implement the recommendations.

So with the government backing many of the recommendations, this policy is ‘in progress’. Before we can consider this as ‘done’ we’ll need to see new laws in place, and confirmation that the new measures do keep workers on traditional employment contracts “properly protected”. Follow this policy for updates.

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