July 2017 saw the publication of ‘Good work: the Taylor Review of Modern Working
Practices’, (the Taylor Review) a report commissioned by the prime minister which includes 53 recommendations for improvements to working practices.

Compiled by Matthew Taylor, (chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts) the report discusses a range of issues. These include the increase in digital platforms, implications of new forms of work and the impacts new working methods have on responsibilities, freedoms, obligations and employee rights.

Numerous external factors shape the labour market and nature of our jobs, but every employer has a fundamental role to play in improving workplace practices by creating a positive, flexible and realistic environment to allow their workers to perform and progress.

“People are driven by different motivations at different points in their career…” The Taylor Review highlights that our workplace should provide us with “…the opportunity to fulfil our own needs and potential in ways that suit our situations throughout our lives”. This is an ethos Vine-Works Ltd promotes wholeheartedly and actively encourages through the development of their workers’ skills and the possibility for promotion into new roles.

A flourishing, conscientious workplace creates workers who take pride in their abilities, feel their opinions are listened to and who perform above and beyond without hesitation. Such a workforce is invaluable to any company and achievable by all. Best working practices should be instinctive and a priority, rather than seen as yet more legislation and recommendations to unwillingly adhere to. For Vine-Works Ltd, the application of rigorous procedures throughout every process and decision establishes a respected platform from which to hire workers. For our workers, the knowledge that the company acts only in their best interests and will support them in all situations, provides them with stability and reassurance. It is vital that every employer builds an honest, approachable environment in which workers can voice their opinions, raise questions and feel involved.

The Taylor Review focuses its recommendations around three widespread challenges:
◆ Tackling exploitation and the potential for exploitation at work
◆ Increasing clarity in the law and helping people know and exercise their rights
◆ Over the longer term, aligning the incentives driving the nature of our labour market with our modern industrial strategy and broader national objectives.

The recommendations for improving workplace practices apply across all industries. The Association of Labour Providers, (ALP) is a trade organisation which promotes responsible recruitment practices for industries supplying labour to the UK consumer goods supply chain. The ALP supports and represents the industry, providing vital information and resources to achieve best practices within the workplace. The association has completed its own feedback in response to the Taylor Review.

One topic under scrutiny is the need to enforce “…the basic set of core
pay rights that apply to all workers.” Discrepancies over National Minimum
Wage and Statutory Sick Pay are currently investigated by Her Majesty’s Revenue
and Customs, (HMRC), but other basic rights disputes, such as holiday pay, are resolved through employment tribunals. The Taylor Review recommends HMRC take responsibility for all core pay rights and have the methods to enforce the legislation. The ALP agrees with this proposal and have detailed their own “technical knowledge of the flaws and inconsistencies in the law relating to holiday pay for workers that work irregular hours.” With seasonal and irregular working patterns being unavoidable in the viticulture sector, Vine-Works Ltd are proud
to support their workers across all employment rights, providing stability, reassurance and commitment.

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, (GLAA) is another organisation which contributes greatly to the labour industry, preventing worker exploitation. Legally, every employer supplying labour within the agriculture and horticulture industries requires a GLAA licence.

“The best way to achieve better work is not national regulation, but responsible
corporate governance, good management and strong employment relations within the organisation.” It cannot be overstated that it is every employer’s responsibility to cultivate best working practices, to provide their workers with the relevant knowledge, equipment and resources to create a safe, happy working environment.

People are at the heart of every business. By establishing strong, honest communication and respect between employers and employees, the workplace protects everyone’s rights and increases productivity.

Published in Vineyard Magazine – June 2018

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