The Taylor Review: job insecurity must be addressed within the gig economy

Deliveroo is a key employer in the gig economy.

Matthew Taylor, the government’s employment reviewer, has said that employment in the UK should be “fair and decent” – paying particular attention to the controversial gig economy. 

In the report, Taylor says there must be more to tackle job insecurity which affects those millions of workers who are in self-employment or on zero-hours contracts for companies such as Deliveroo or Uber.

“Of all the issues that were raised with us as we went around the country, the one that came through most strongly was what the report calls one-sided flexibility.

“One-sided flexibility is where employers seek to transfer all risk onto the shoulder of workers in ways that make people more insecure and makes their lives harder to manage. It’s the people told to be ready for work or travelling to work, only to be told none is available.” said the report.

Taylor said in the report that said too many employers and businesses are relying on zero hours or short hours contracts when they should instead be more forward thinking in their scheduling.

Taylor told the BBC: “There are too many people at work who are treated like cogs in a machine rather than being human beings, and there are too many people who don’t see a route from their current job to progress and earn more and do better.”

Taylor writes of how he does not wish to end cash payments outright but instead hopes that over time, platforms such as PayPal will lead to a shift from cash-in-hand work.

“In a few years time as we move to a more cashless economy, self-employed people would be paid cashlessly – like your window cleaner. At the same time they can pay taxes and save for their pension,” said Taylor.

“Most people who do pay for self-employed labour would like to know that that person is paying their taxes.”

Deliveroo spokesperson said of the report: “We would welcome the opportunity to work with the government so we can end this trade-off between flexibility and security.”