LONDON Oct 1 British Prime Minister Theresa May
ordered a review of employment practices on Saturday, saying she
wanted to ensure workers' rights were protected under changing
business models and a growing trend towards flexible or
The review comes ahead of the ruling Conservative Party's
annual conference, May's first as prime minister, at which she
is expected to make her pitch to reunite a country divided by
June's European Union referendum and set our what a successful
exit from the bloc will look like.
"We are building a new centre ground in British politics;
improving the security and rights of ordinary working people is
a key part of building a country and an economy that works for
everyone, not just the privileged few," May said in a statement.
Britain's vote to leave the European Union was driven in
part by a backlash against the political establishment among
working class voters who believed their prospects had been badly
damaged by the 2007/08 financial crisis and years of austerity.
The review will look at whether existing employment law can
cope with the country's growing number of "non-standard forms of
employment", such as self-employment, temporary work or
"zero-hours" contracts, which offer employees flexibility, but
no guaranteed work.
Earlier this year, politicians condemned British retailer
Sports Direct for effectively paying workers less than
the minimum wage, while working conditions at taxi firm Uber
have come under legal scrutiny.
"New forms of employment have many advantages for workers
and consumers but there are challenges and risks," said Matthew
Taylor, head of an arts charity and former government policy
adviser who has been asked to lead the review.
"We need to approach this issue with an open mind
recognising that within our flexible system of employment the
same type of contract can have a diverse range of impacts on the
people who use them."
(Reporting by William James; Editing by David Gregorio)