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Good Work: Employee Share Schemes & The Taylor Review

“Good work is shaped by working practices that benefit employees through good reward schemes and terms and conditions, better training and development, good communication and ways of working that support task discretion and involve employees in securing business developments.”

The Commission on Good Work

Background

On 11 July 2017, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”) published The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. This independent review considers the implications of new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities, in addition to employer freedoms and obligations. In light of the rise of “atypical” forms of work such as the gig economy, zero-hours contracts and multi-jobs, the Taylor Review sets out seven principles to address the challenges facing the UK labour market.

Amongst the recommendations, BEIS suggest: –

  • Making the taxation of labour more consistent across employment forms;
  • Using technology to offer new opportunities for smarter regulation and more flexible entitlements; and
  • Maintaining Worker (or ‘dependent contractor’) status but being clearer about how to distinguish workers from those who are legitimately self-employed.

What impact will this have on employee share schemes?

The Taylor Review recognises the increasing importance of individuals providing services outside the “normal” employment relationship.

The current UK regulatory and tax regimes are predicated on awards being made to employees under share schemes designed primarily for employees (hence the term employee share schemes).

However, this does not necessarily preclude non-employees from participating in share schemes and Pett Franklin has experience of implementing plans for companies to accommodate alternative employment forms.

In light of the Taylor Review, one might expect a movement towards extending employee share schemes to reflect the flexibility of these “atypical” arrangements.

If you would like to find out more about incentivising and rewarding non-employees, please contact Stephen Woodhouse on stephen.woodhouse@pettfranklin.com or call 0121 348 7878.

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