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Companies that want to employ people on zero hours contracts could face a hike in the minimum wage rate, the author of a review into modern working practices has proposed.
Matthew Taylor, former adviser to Tony Blair, told the Financial Times (FT) that a premium on the minimum wage could discourage “lazy employers” forcing workers to accept risks that were once shouldered by businesses.
“The problem in the labour market is not security of work, it’s security of income,” he said.
Taylor was commissioned by Theresa May in October 2016 to lead the Independent Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy, which reports this summer.
He believes that if employers had to pay a premium on “non-guaranteed” hours, they would be incentivised to promise more hours in advance.
“I think we can encourage employers to be a bit less lazy about transferring risk, even if it means [an employer] offers 15 hours a week rather than one hour, at least that’s 15 hours that I can know I’m going to be able to pay my mortgage,” he told the FT.
Taylor added that the idea of a different minimum wage for zero hours contracts was still up for debate: “The drawback is we don’t want a proliferation of different minimum wages, because there’s something good about the fact the minimum wage is simple and everyone understands it.”