Employment Practices in the Modern Economy

The Independent Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy was commissioned by the Prime Minister on 1 October 2016.

Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts) led the review to consider how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business models. The review considered the implications of new forms of work, driven by digital platforms, for employee rights and responsibilities, employer freedoms and obligations, and our existing regulatory framework surrounding employment.

Review scope

The review addressed 6 main themes:

Security, pay and rights

  • To what extent do emerging business practices put pressure on the trade-off between flexible labour and benefits such as higher pay or greater work availability, so that workers lose out on all dimensions?
  • To what extent does the growth in non-standard forms of employment undermine the reach of policies like the National Living Wage, maternity and paternity rights, pensions auto-enrolment, sick pay, and holiday pay?

Progression and training

  • How can we facilitate and encourage professional development within the modern economy to the benefit of both employers and employees?

The balance of rights and responsibilities

  • Do current definitions of employment status need to be updated to reflect new forms of working created by emerging business models, such as on-demand platforms?


  • Could we learn lessons from alternative forms of representation around the world?

Opportunities for under-represented groups

  • How can we harness modern employment to create opportunities for groups currently underrepresented in the labour market (the elderly, those with disabilities or care responsibilities)?

New business models

  • How can government – nationally or locally – support a diverse ecology of business models enhancing the choices available to investors, consumers and workers?

Review panel

Matthew Taylor asked a panel of experts to support the 6-month review. They contributed their expertise on the labour market, start-up businesses and public policy areas. The 3 panel members were:

Name Organisation
Paul Broadbent Chief Executive of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA)
Greg Marsh Founder and Formerly Chair and Chief Executive of onefinestay
Diane Nicol (Employment Lawyer) Partner at Pinsent Masons law firm




Matthew Taylor and the Modern Employment Review team visited locations across the UK to explore modern employment in different labour markets and to host public evidence hearings.

If you have any questions or comments about the review, please contact modernemploymentreview@beis.gov.uk.

Contact details