Reforming employment status

Building a stronger foundation for employment rights

Brown D, Holmes J |   | Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) | Nov 2020

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COVID-19 has dominated the Government’s attention since March this year, but the pandemic has also underlined the precarious situation of many in low-paid work, of whatever status, as well as the risks of losing employment rights through deliberate or mistaken misclassification.

The Government’s ambition, set out in the Queen’s Speech in December 2019, to ‘build on existing employment law with measures to protect those in low-paid work and the gig economy’ also suggests that employment status is likely to return as an issue of interest to policy-makers once the immediate crisis has passed.

The purpose of this report, which has been infomred by a series of interviews and group discussions with HR directors, employment policy experts, employment lawyers and HR advisers, is to:

• further investigate and detail the various issues and problems evident in the current situation regarding employment status
• consider evidence as to what would be the most effective and viable methods of simplification and reform, including the abolition of ‘worker’ status
• make recommendations to Government on employment status simplification and inform and influence the debate on this challenging issue.