The government has been accused of dragging the promised reforms to zero-hour contracts and a gig economy as legislation to protect workers faces serious delays.
The new legislation to strengthen protections for the UK’s most vulnerable workers will not be ready until the end of the year, and will raise new questions about the government’s commitment to protecting workers’ rights after Brexit.
Whitehorse’s newly retired hiring tsar, Matthew Taylor, said there was deaf silence from ministers over the zero-hour contracts announced a year ago by Boris Johnson and groundbreaking employment reforms in areas such as the gig economy.
The government has pledged to make the UK the best place to work in the world. Taylor claims that the government’s enthusiasm for reform has weakened since then.
The business department said the government is committed to tightening the law to protect people in precarious employment conditions, but TUC, the Labor Party and the Senior Conservative Party have joined Taylor to demand faster progress.
Sources close to the government said the major employment legislation pledged before the UK officially left the EU was promised because it is unlikely that a central mechanism to protect workers’ rights will begin by the end of 2021 or early 2022. Stakeholders have been told this is a potential period. They said they were present in Congress despite being announced more than a year ago.
Changes to address the precarious work were promised in a Queens speech in December 2019, one day before a major Commons vote that passed the Johnsons Brexit plan. Britain is the best place to work in the way his government protects and strengthens workers’ rights when it leaves the EU.
But Taylor, who served as the head of the government’s labor market crackdown until the end of last month, raised doubts about the Conservatives’ desire to uphold the labor standards in intervening with the lack of progress.
It is not yet clear what the government is trying to do. We have seen the government reform agenda gradually but undoubtedly slow down when it comes to the good. At first there was enthusiasm, but it was getting weaker and weaker, he told the Guardian.
Taylors’ role as Director of Employment Rights remains vacant after the end of last month’s term. He offered the ministers to hire a successor but to remain unpaid until rejected.
A spokesman for the division said the bill was a matter of securing parliamentary time, adding that protecting and strengthening workers’ rights is an absolute priority for the government.
We are committed to providing the law to uphold high standards and to equip you with an employment framework tailored to the purposes of the 21st century.
However, lawmakers, including Back Bench Tory, were uneasy because there was no progress. The Commons Committee on Women and Equality said last week that the bill was important in protecting women workers who were disproportionately hit by the epidemic. Group conservative chairman Caroline Nokes said: I think it’s important for the bill to be announced before the end of June.
Taylor, Tony Blair’s former adviser, who led the government review of modern working practices in Theresa May 2017, said ministers appear to be dithering during a period of heightened public concern about workplace abuse due to the Covid recession. It was said that it was amazing. .
By mid-year, more than 2.6 million people are expected to be unemployed, more than twice the pre-epidemic level.
Sources say officials were cast last summer to revise the bill to reflect Covid’s impact on the job market, but little progress has been made since its launch.
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As a sign of unprepared status, they said major consultations for reform of the bill, such as the new single employment rights enforcement agency, have not yet been answered by the government.
While the emergency response to Covid has delayed other areas of policy, Taylor said more actions could be taken and Tories is becoming increasingly fragmented on how to proceed.
I think they’re stuck in a horn of dilemma in that they have the deregulation instincts you can expect from a conservative regime. And because there is a business community that is very unhappy about Brexit, they don’t want to do something that might seem to put more pressure on the business.
We’re seeing a government that doesn’t want to give up its dedication to the good, but doesn’t want to upset the deregulation of its own political parties and part of the UK business.
Shadow Employment Rights Secretary Andy McDonald said the bill should be submitted. Weak employment rights and virtually nonexistent enforcement have contributed to unsafe labor and economic instability, which left the UK the world’s highest Covid mortality rate and the worst economic crisis of any major economy.
Tim Sharp, Chief Policy Officer for Employment Rights at TUC, said: “I’m really disappointed that I haven’t seen it yet. It seems like I can see where the job rights issues are in priority.
Last month, the government appeared to be reviewing options to change workers’ rights after Brexit amid concerns about corporate border collapse and the minister’s pressure to show the benefits of leaving the EU.
However, new business secretary Kwasi Kru Teng said at the end of last month that there was no further work taking place within the business, energy and industrial strategy departments in a rapid U-turn.
He added: I spoke very clearly to officials in the department who were not interested in reducing the rights of workers.
However, opposition is concerned that former Tory leader Ian Duncan Smith could lower the hiring standards he is scheduled to report back to the prime minister in April through a review of post-Brexit opportunities. .
Charities said the increase in unemployment caused by the Covid crisis increased the risk of unscrupulous employers abusing the law. The recession of the past has also contributed to the growth of low-wage and precarious labor that has left workers in poverty.
Dave Innes, head of economics at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said in a Queens speech that the government has promised that ministers can build a safer future for workers hardest hit by the Covid recession.
Unlike some jobs, only recovery with a strong focus on good jobs will not only help families who fell into poverty during this crisis, but also address the existing deficiencies in the labor market that have trapped people, he said.
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