The government’s Good Work Plan looks favourable for contractors

Details on the government’s plans to change employment laws in the name of making work in the UK “fair and decent” for all have been released. The so-called Good Work Plan focuses on plans to protect contractors, gig economy workers and the flexible workforce in today’s economy.

Labour Politician, Matthew Taylor, authored a list of 53 suggestions in an independent review in 2017, all but two of which appear to have been adhered to by the government which states that the Prime Minister “will not only maintain workers’ rights as the UK leaves the EU but enhance them.”

The government promises to “improve clarity on employment status, reflecting modern working practices,” which they hope will ease the burden of unclear employment statuses suffered by self-employed contractors.

Employment experts are concerned, however, that employment rights are not desired by all workers and that the labour market should be kept balanced. They believe that, in general, contractors prefer working outside of IR35 and don’t think of themselves as vulnerable.

The Good Work Plan acknowledges the differences between contractors working inside the IR35 and those working outside and has promised to explore the alignment of tax status and employment rights as an option.

John Cullinane, Tax Policy Director at the Chartered Institution of Taxation does believe aligning tax status and employment rights would be easy, he has said: “It is difficult to see much progress being made on aligning and simplifying employment and tax frameworks within the constraints the government have imposed on themselves. We have three different categories of workers (employed, worker or ‘dependent contractor’ and self-employed) for employment law but just two for tax (employed and self-employed).”

Either way, it may be pleasant news for contractors that the government is looking into ways to make working fairer for them.