The Government is to ask the Low Pay Commission to consider higher minimum wage rates for workers on zero-hour contracts.

The move is part of a series of measures the Government has announced in response to the Taylor Review of modern working practices.

The long-awaited response includes a swathe of pledges aimed at the gig economy, including enforcing workers’ rights to holiday and sick pay.

The Government’s Good Work Plan also insists on a right to a payslip for all workers, including casual and zero-hour employees and the right for all workers, not just zero-hour and agency, to request a more stable contract.

Other measures set out in the report include:

  • · taking further action to ensure unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker;
  • · introducing a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards
  • · quadrupling employment tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000 and considering increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases
  • · providing all 1.2 million agency workers with a clear breakdown of who pays them and any costs or charges deducted from their wages
  • · considering repealing laws allowing agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates
  • · defining ‘working time’ for flexible workers who find jobs through apps or online so they know when they should be being paid
  • · launching a task force with business to promote awareness and take-up of the right to request flexible working introduced in 2014
  • · making sure new and expectant mothers know their workplace rights and raise awareness amongst employers of their obligations
  • · launching a new campaign to encourage more working parents to share childcare through Shared Parental Leave – a right introduced in 2015

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We recognise the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business.

“We are proud to have record levels of employment in this country but we must also ensure that workers’ rights are always upheld.

“Our response to this report will mean tangible progress towards that goal as we build an economy that works for everyone.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The Taylor Review said that the current approach to employment is successful but that we should build on that success, in preparing for future opportunities.

“We want to embrace new ways of working, and to do so we will be one of the first countries to prepare our employment rules to reflect the new challenges.

“We will take forward Matthew Taylor’s recommendations and commit to pursuing the quality of work as well as number of jobs.

“The ‘Good Work plan’ puts the UK at the front of the pack in addressing the challenges and opportunities of modern ways of working, it is an important part of the Industrial Strategy and will enhance our business environment as one of the best places to work, invest and do business.”