A new government review will examine the current forms of employment status, with a view to potential updates to ‘reflect new forms of working’.

The review has been ordered by UK prime minister Theresa May, and will look at the ‘diverse ecology of business models’. This will certainly involve many of the working structures around contractors, personal service companies and freelancers.

The man Theresa May has tasked with leading the review is Matthew Taylor, the CEO of the Royal Society of Arts.

In an article written for the Guardian and published on 1 October, Taylor outlined his intentions for the review. He pointed to the fact that many regulations around work reflect archaic or antiquated models of employment, rather than the variety of workers, such as contractors for example, in today’s workforce.

Taylor said that one in five UK workers are in ‘non-standard work arrangements’, and indicated that this trend is only likely to continue.

The chapter of the review likely to be of most interest to a contractor is chapter three, entitled ‘Finding the appropriate balance of rights and responsibilities for new business models’.

“From employment regulations to tax and welfare rules, to public service operating hours, much is still premised on traditional employment,” Taylor said. “Can government do more to support non-standard workers? Can we explore and promote new forms of enterprise as the distinction between owner, worker, contractor and consumer gets more blurred?”

Reading between the lines, it’s seems clear the government is increasing its focus on contracting and the relationship between each worker and employer. What Taylor’s review will call for remains to be seen, but contractors will no doubt be keen to see how it will affect them going forward once published.

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