The government's response to the Taylor Review has sought to address concerns of workers in the so-called 'gig' economy. The government has promised an overhaul of employment rights to improve conditions of millions of workers. The changes include stricter enforcement of holiday and sick pay rights and higher fines for those firms that breach contracts or mistreat their staff.
However, some concerns have been expressed that the response does not include a commitment to extending auto enrolment for the self-employed.
Tim Gosling, Policy Lead, Defined Contribution at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said: "We welcome the Government's response to the Taylor Review. By consulting on whether to redraw the line on who is deemed self-employed and who is a worker, it offers the prospect that some gig economy workers may in future benefit from a workplace pension. This is important and welcome as it will help to prevent employers wrongly categorising people as self-employed and therefore not eligible to be enrolled into a workplace pension.
"Today's announcement will not, however, help solve the problem of how to involve the traditional self-employed in workplace pension saving. The Government acknowledges that more needs to be done and has committed to testing different solutions for the self-employed over the coming year. We will continue to work closely with Government as well as the rest of the industry to look at options which will help this important and growing demographic to tackle the retirement savings challenge."
Former pensions minister Steve Webb similarly felt the government had missed the mark on offering the self-employed help with their pensions.
"Despite Matthew Taylor's recommendations, the government's response offers little hope for improving the pensions of the self-employed," he said.
"Pension membership among employed workers has soared because of automatic enrolment, but it remains shockingly low for the self-employed. It is very worrying that this issue has again been kicked 'into the long grass', meaning that millions of self-employed people face an insecure retirement," he added.