The Taylor Report was recently published to give an overview of suggested revisions to working practices in the modern UK economy.
Some of the major points highlighted in Mathew Taylor’s review include ensuring the UK economy is “fair and decent” towards workers. The fact that this is a point highlighted in a report rather than something that goes without saying, highlights all that’s wrong with a modern working system that forces employees to except things like zero hour contracts and below living wage pay.
In the end, the issue with the modern system boils down to people’s ability to exploit those at the bottom of the ladder in the interest of financial gain. The problem lies with loopholes in the system that allows large corporations to make the most of vulnerable workers who have no other option than to accept poor wages and even poorer working rights just to keep a job. The reason, those at the top generally care very little about those on the bottom.
Believe that statement if you will, but I can say based on experience that too often workers are represented as facts and figures rather than the living, struggling humans they are. It’s easy to look at an expenses sheet and cut costs without thinking about the impact of the cuts in question. I guess a similar parallel can be found with the measures of “austerity” imposed by the current Tory government.
Predictably, the report has already met a large amount of criticism, mainly based on the drastic impact of banning things like zero hour contracts and raising the national living wage. I can understand the trepidation behind supporting such revisions, but in the end, surely we should be trying to move away from things that generally harm those at the bottom and benefit those at the top. I’m not saying the suggestions are perfect, I’m not even saying they’re feasible, but they do highlight bad some practices that have developed over recent years.
I’d like to think that everyone, regardless of status, wants to make things better for the people of this country. The problem is, I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption.