Union's statement on the Taylor Review

Picture of the Statue of Justice which sits at the Old Bailey. Vulnerable workers need stronger rights and access to justice to enforce those rights.

11 July 2017

Responding to the Taylor Review, Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, has warned that 'new rules and rights for workers are no use if they can't be enforced'. BECTU is the largest sector of Prospect with a growing staff and freelance membership.

Commenting on Matthew Taylor's review of modern working practices published today (11 July)., Mike Clancy said:

“Prospect has long campaigned for Government to recognise the importance of “good work” to our economic strength and quality of life, so greater public debate about this issue is to be welcomed.

“As a union representing many self-employed contractors and freelancers, especially in our media and entertainment sector (BECTU), we are determined to ensure they are empowered, supported and protected. We will therefore examine Matthew Taylor’s proposals carefully.

“The world of work is changing fast, and the variety of different models and practices is increasing.

“There is clearly a risk that apparently simple solutions could fail to give the most vulnerable and exploited workers the protections they need, while weakening employment relations in areas where workers and their unions have learned to organise and negotiate effectively.

“It is vital that the Government now proceeds in a way that is informed by detailed consultation with stakeholders who will have more detailed sectoral knowledge, including trade unions.

New rights must be backed by better enforcement

“One thing is clear: new rules and rights are not worth the paper they are written on unless they can be enforced. That means tougher inspection regimes and abolishing fees that deter workers from taking legitimate cases to employment tribunals.

“Most importantly, it means removing barriers to union recruitment, organisation and recognition – because the best protection and strongest voice for workers in any sector will always be the collective bargaining and influence that only a strong trade union can provide,” Clancy concluded.

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