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Government failure to tackle insecure employment slammed by Usdaw on the fifth anniversary of the Taylor review

Date: 11 July 2022 Retail trade union Usdaw has today criticised the Government for their failure to tackle insecure employment, leaving millions of worker in poverty.
Responding to a BEIS select committee inquiry, the union laments repeated failures to implement the recommendations of the 2017 Taylor Review and 2018 Low Pay Commission, along with not delivering on a 2019 manifesto promise to improve workers’ rights with an employment bill. Usdaw continues to call for a new deal for workers.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Five years on from the Taylor review recommendations, the Government should finally act to tackle insecure employment caused by one-sided flexibility and deliver the protections working people need. The Low Pay Commission also looked into one-sided flexibility and recommended that workers be given the right to switch to a contract that reflects their normal working hours. We remain extremely disappointed by the lack of Government action.
“Genuinely flexible working in a mutually beneficial arrangement between employers and employees could greatly benefit many workers in addressing barriers to work, their mental health and productivity. We know that flexible working is already essential for many people, especially those with caring responsibilities, so we need to make sure it is available to all and is implemented to benefit workers.
“The pandemic, along with changing and evolving employee demands around flexible working should add impetus to Government action in this area. There must be a particular focus on extending flexible working to a broader cross-section of workers. There also needs to be a comprehensive package of improved employment rights to bring about a new deal for workers.”
The Government needs to get a grip and get back to the day job. It is simply unacceptable that the Conservatives believe the country can be left in a state of paralysis, without any new policies, while they focus inwardly on a leadership contest.”
Usdaw’s New Deal for Workers calls for:
  • Minimum wage of at least £12 per hour as a step towards £15 for all workers, ending rip-off youth rates.
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for everyone who wants it, that reflects normal hours worked and a ban on zero-hour contracts.
  • Better sick pay for all workers, from day one, at average earnings.
  • Protection at work, respect for shopworkers, abuse is not a part of the job.
  • Proper social security system, Universal Credit does not provide an effective safety net.
  • Job security, with day one employment rights for unfair dismissal and significant improvements to redundancy protections.
  • Fair treatment and equality for all workers, including equal pay.
  • Voice at work, stop rogue employers refusing to engage with trade unions and end ‘fire and rehire’. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee inquiry on the UK labour market: https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/2646/
Usdaw’s full response: www.usdaw.org.uk/BEIS-UKLabourMarket
Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, published 11 July 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices
Low Pay Commission response to the Government on one-sided flexibility: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/765193/LPC_Response_to_the_Government_on_one-sided_flexibility.pdf
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers