The GMB union has criticised a government review into self-employed working practices, claiming the suggestions outlined in the report would not fix “a broken system which sees 10 million UK workers trapped in precarious work.”

Published this week, the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices recommended that “the same basic principles should apply to all forms employment”, meaning self-employed van drivers could be in line to receive the same benefits as those who are employed full-time.  

The report also recommends replacing the term ‘worker’ with ‘dependent contractor’ status, meaning firms would need to pay the national minimum wage and they would have to offer the statutory minimum level of paid holiday.

It also suggests making the taxation of labour “more consistent across all employment forms”, while improving the rights of self-employed workers.

But Tim Roache, GMB general secretary said: “Given the epidemic of precarious work in the UK, this report simply does not go far enough in fixing a broken system that gives employers the choice of whether to treat their workers fairly or not.”

He added: “Action on the gig economy is overdue, but help for agency workers, those on zero hours or short hours contracts won’t happen by asking nicely or hoping bad employers find a moral compass down the back of the couch. Words on decent work are always welcome, but they’re meaningless without determined action to back them up and challenge those who profit from insecurity.”