Future of work

Skills report strikes a balance for the future of work

Commenting on the publication of Good Work: Review of Modern Working Practices Jonathan Riley, Head of Tax said:

“We know the world of work is changing fast. We have seen a massive increase in numbers of self-employed, as part of the "gig economy" and in respect of more traditional sectors too. In many cases, this opens new opportunities for people to work, with flexibility to balance other commitments, and enable businesses to offer innovative services for customers. At the same time, pre-existing frameworks for tax and employment protection are in some places out of kilter with this new world; depriving some workers of basic protections and depriving public services of tax revenue. It is important to maintain the flexibility that workers and customers value whilst also ensuring fair treatment that creates trust and reduces calls upon publicly funded safety nets. The fact that Matthew Taylor's report goes too far for some and not far enough for others suggests he may have got the balance right.

“His report is comprehensive and provides a roadmap for further consideration. Some proposals are bold – for example the suggestion that employer National Insurance Contributions should be paid by those engaging the new category of “dependant worker”. Such proposals if pursued would need to balance the desire to see a more level playing field with the need to have safeguards against abuse of such tax raising measures. Compliance with existing definitions of employed and self-employed for tax and National Insurance purposes should be consistently and equitably enforced. Some measures are common sense, such as the proposal to have a decision in an employment tribunal binding for tax, and vice versa, is welcomed.

“In the aftermath of the election Grant Thornton UK called for more cross-party working, to develop a consensus around some of the big issues facing the UK. We therefore welcome Theresa May’s commitment to engage on a cross party basis on issues such as the future of work and would welcome this being extended to Brexit and industrial strategy. Through our own discussions with businesses and other dynamic organisations across the UK we have found common ground, across personal political views, on a set of ideas for shaping a vibrant economy. We would encourage politicians and others to hold the Prime Minister to her pledge to building a cross party consensus and work together to make this happen."