Tripartite discussions have recently taken place at the International Labour Conference convened in Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office to consider a draft recommendation relating to the employment relationship. The recommendation considered such issues as disguised employment relationships.
Unfortunately it was not possible to find an agreement, despite considerable efforts, that was acceptable to all parties—employers, workers and Governments. Throughout the discussions, it was stressed that the recommendation was meant to be a flexible instrument, containing options for consideration by member states. Clearly national conditions and law and practice differ considerably amongst ILO members and therefore a “one size fits all” approach was never the intention. However, the Government fully understood the concerns of the employers that the recommendation was overly prescriptive and detailed. Given that all three parties to it were not able to agree the recommendation, the UK Government abstained in the vote on the recommendation.
The UK Government value and support the work of the ILO. When considering the final recommendation we will take account of recent announcements of Government policy in this area as set out in “Success at work; protecting vulnerable workers, supporting good employers”, including on the issue of employment status—copies of which are in the Libraries of both Houses. A command paper will be laid in Parliament in due course.