Following the publication of the Taylor Report on modern working practices, the government is to consult on the options for reform of employment status and the gig economy. The intention is to make the employment status tests for both employment rights and tax, clearer. Currently there is no statutory definition of self-employment although there is a raft of established case law. This covers both tax and employment law and there are subtle differences between the two areas.
No date has yet been announced for the start of the consultation process and the consultation terms have not been defined. It seems likely that there will be some consideration given to introducing a statutory test. Whether that test and the associated definitions will be derived from existing case law or whether the government will seek to take a new stance, remains to be seen.
The consultation and its findings will impact on self-employed individuals and their engagers. It will be of particular importance to those sectors of the economy which have traditionally relied on a self-employed workforce. It will also impact the gig economy and those employment businesses that currently use self-employed individuals.