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Friday, February 19, 2021

Has the government abandoned pledge on workers rights?

The Guardian reports that the government has been accused of dragging its heels on promised reforms to zero-hours contracts and the gig economy as legislation to protect workers faces serious delays:

New legislation intended to bolster protections for Britain’s most vulnerable workers will not be ready until the end of the year at the earliest, raising fresh questions about the government’s promise to protect workers’ rights after Brexit.

Whitehall’s newly departed employment tsar, Matthew Taylor, said there was a “deafening silence” from ministers on the landmark employment reforms, in areas such as zero-hour contracts and the gig economy, which were announced by Boris Johnson more than a year ago.

The government pledged to make Britain “the best place in the world to work”. Taylor claims the government’s enthusiasm for the reforms had since “waned”.

While the business department said the government remained fully committed to toughening up the law to protect those in precarious employment, the TUC, the Labour party and senior Conservatives joined Taylor in demanding faster progress.

Sources close to the government said its flagship employment bill – pledged before the UK formally left the EU as the central mechanism to safeguard workers’ rights – was unlikely to be launched until late 2021 or even early 2022. Stakeholders have been told these are the potential times it could be brought to parliament, despite being announced more than a year ago, they said.

The changes to tackle insecure work had been promised in the December 2019 Queen’s speech, a day before the key Commons vote that passed Johnson’s Brexit plan, as the way his government would “protect and enhance workers’ rights as the UK leaves the EU, making Britain the best place in the world to work”.

But in an intervention over the lack of progress,Taylor, who was the government’s director of labour market enforcement until the end of last month, questioned the Conservative party’s desire to safeguard working standards.

“There is still no clarity on what the government intends to do. We have seen a gradual but unmistakable deceleration of the government reform agenda in relation to good work. There was an initial enthusiasm but that has waned, and waned, and waned,” he told the Guardian.

Taylor’s role as director of employment rights remains vacant after his term expired last month. He offered to remain in post unpaid until ministers hired a replacement but was turned down.

No great surprises there then.
Was it just another ploy to get votes?No real intention of doing it.Not employing somebody else implies they are not interested in workers rights.
Low and behold come the next election it will rear its head again.Nowt like handing out carrots to donkey,s who have forgotten the past events
Government should take note of the implications of today's Supreme Court judgement in the Uber case.
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