Saturday, February 17, 2018

February meeting of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee

The next meeting of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee will held on Monday 26th February at 10.30 am at Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle, and will be open to the public.

After the usual boilerplate (apologies for absence, minutes of previous meeting, etc) the first major item on the agenda, item six, is the presentation of a report from the Chief Executive of the CCG (The clinical commissioning group) for North Cumbria NHS.

This will include details of the 12 month trial of "Option One" Consultant-led maternity at West Cumberland Hospital as reconfigured following the 2016 Success regime consultation:

Report by the Chief Executive, NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group


The other main items on the morning's agenda are as follows:

7.
To consider a report by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

8.
To consider a report by Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group.

9.
To consider a report by Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group.

Then after lunch, resuming at about 1.30pm, the main items for consideration are:

10.
To consider a report by the Programme Director for South Cumbria and Lancashire STP.

11.
To consider a report by the North West Ambulance Service.

The full agenda including reports is available here.

Saturday music spot: "The King shall Rejoice" (Handel)

Quote of the day 17th February 2018

 (Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times on the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Labour and Lib/Dems set Cumbria council tax at 4% increase

Cumbria County Council's element of the council tax in Cumbria (which is by far the largest element) was voted through yesterday with a 3.99% increase.

Technically this consisted of a 1.99% rise in the general level of council tax plus the 2% increase on top which the government permitted to pay for adult social care.

What this would mean for households in Cumbria is that the county council element of the council tax will rise as follows:

For a Band B property in Cumbria the county council element will rise by £39.75
 (from £996.35 in 2016/17 to £1036.10 in 2018/19)

For a band D property the County Council element will rise by £51.11
 (from £1,281.02 in 2016/17 to ££1332.13 in 2018/19)

For a band H property the County Council element will rise by £102.22
 (from £2,562.04 in 2016/17 to ££2,664.26 in 2018/19)

The council tax bill for any household will also include elements for the Police service (following consultation the PCC is putting this up by just over 5% to pay for more bobbies on the beat,) plus:

 * the relevant district or borough council (for residents of my division this is Copeland Borough Council who are setting their council tax on Tuesday 20th February)

 * in most cases for the Town or Parish Council

 * this will be Whitehaven Town Council for my Mirehouse constituents,

 * Egremont Town Council for residents in Moor Row or Bigrigg,

 * and St Bees Parish Council for residents of St Bees and much of the surrounding area.

The Conservative group moved an amendment which would have used £1.13 million from an extra allocation which the national government provided to Cumbria for Rural services delivery as a fund to provide more community transport. This was voted down by Labour councillors and almost all the Lib/Dems and independents.

The Administration budget was then passed the Labour, Lib/Dem and some Independent councillors with the Conservatives and one Independent voting against.

Quote of the day 16th February 2018

Overheard in the Foyer at County Hall in Kendal yesterday as councillors arrived for the budget meeting of Cumbria County Council

"Well we've done a good job of hiding everything"

(A senior member of the county council cabinet, on observing that there didn't seem to be much press interest in the meeting.

Many a true word is spoken in jest, methinks.)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Chris Grayling writes: time to rebut Labour's "fake news"

"Fake News" has been around for millennia: for example although the Emperor Nero was one of the worst rulers who ever lived, almost the only crime of which he was probably innocent was that for which he is best remembered.

The allegation that Nero set fire to Rome in 64 AD, watched the blaze from a tower and sang "The sack of Ilium" while the city burned (changed centuries later to playing the fiddle while Rome burned, which is flat-out impossible as the violin was not invented until at least a thousand years later) appears to have been a clever libel invented by one of his many opponents.

With the exception of a letter from Seneca to St Paul the apostle, all the few surviving primary accounts of that fire were written several decades later. Of those which describe Nero's role, the one which appears least exaggerated when compared with what evidence we have, the history by Tacitus, states that Nero was at Antium, thirty-five miles from Rome, when the fire broke out, and hurried back when he learned that Rome was burning to organise disaster relief and fire-fighting efforts.

The story of the Great Fire of Rome appears to have been an early example of cleverly deceitful  propaganda, but there is much more of it around today.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has written an article on Conservative Home about how

Conservatives must get better at rebutting Labour's fake news.

There are honest people and to put it very politely, there are also sadly some people who do not take enough care to tell the truth in all the political parties and in the media. A wise person should apply a certain amount of scepticism, in the proper and original meaning of that word, e.g. to start with an open mind and use your intelligence to check the truth of what is being said, to information from any source whether it is the press, social media or any political party.

Nevertheless I think Grayling is right - and yes, MRDA but I really do think he is right - to call out as some of the worst purveyors of fake news in Britain today certain members of the Labour party in general and Momentum in particular. As he writes,

"Time after time they push messages about us which are completely false, or which completely distort the truth. In one recent example, they claimed that we rejected a Labour attempt to make it a legal requirement for landlords to ensure that their properties were fit for human habitation.

The reality was very different. The Conservative bill gave local authorities more power than ever before to clamp down on rogue landlords. Labour’s headline chasing amendment was legally flawed. But it made for an anti-Conservative campaign portraying us as heartless when we were the ones taking real action to solve the problem. And many believed it.

More recently, their campaign to claim that we thought that animals were not sentient only ground to a halt when several media outlets had to apologise to Michael Gove for misrepresenting our position. But not before many constituents had accused me and other MPs of not caring for animals.

We’re going to see much more of this fake-news approach to politics from Labour over the coming months and years. They will portray us as uncaring and unthinking, and will use false examples to make their case.

Labour supporting think tanks will continue to pump out intentionally inaccurate information about the Government’s record. Hardly a day goes by without a Conservative MP reporting another outbreak of complete fiction from the left."

"But it is a reality that we have to deal with. We will never convince the determined left of the falseness of their propaganda. But we have to sow real seeds of doubt into the minds of the reasonable people who see their messages. Quite simply, we have to discredit their fake news. "

You can read the full text of the article here.

Quote of the day 15th February 2018

"Giving an organisation a pass more or less guarantees, paradoxically, that its standards deteriorate. A combination of moral superiority and lack of serious public scrutiny is more than most organisations can bear."

(Dan Hannan MEP in an article examining why there seems to have been less outrage expressed in the MSM and social media at the atrocious behaviour of Oxfam in Haiti than there was about the - admittedly tawdry - goings on at the so-called "President's Club."

For the avoidance of doubt neither Dan's article nor I in quoting it defend in any way the "President's Club" event but on any objective measure the behaviour of some senior Oxfam employees towards far more vulnerable women in a disaster-struck area they were supposed to be helping appears to have been significantly worse.

You can read Dan's article in full here.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Morgan Tsvangirai RIP

But for a massive amount of vote-rigging and intimidation Morgan Tsvangirai, the veteran Zimbabwe opposition leader who died today of colon cancer at the age of 65, would have been elected president of his country in 2008.

A former miner who had risen to be general secretary of Zimbabwe's trade unions, he broke with Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF to oppose Mugabe's dictatorial and corrupt regime and campaigned in the face of enormous cruelty and persecution for the peaceful and democratic transfer of power.

He was Prime Minister for four years as part of a power-sharing coalition from 2009 to 2013

I am sorry that his death means that he will not be able to take part in the post-Mugabe development of politics in his country, to which he would have had a lot to offer, but I'm glad that at least he lived to see Robert Mugabe removed from power. 

Morgan Tsvangirai was a very brave man who made huge sacrifices for what he believed in and I am convinced his struggle helped to create the conditions in which Mugabe could be sacked by the army and his own party. Tsvangirai would much rather have seen Mugabe removed at the ballot box and I hope his legacy will be to bring nearer the day when governments in Zimbabwe are changed peacefully through popular votes rather than force.

Rest in Peace.


Midweek Madrigal: "Who Ever Thinks Or Hopes Of Love" by John Dowland

An appropriate madrigal for Valentine's day ...

A Calendar fluke

How did we mange to get Valentine's day and Ash Wednesday on the same day?

Are the hard left becoming "as bad as Marie Antoinette?"

I have blogged a few times in the past few days about the decision of Claire Kober, Labour leader of Haringey council, described (by people on the left) as the most senior Labour woman in local government, to stand down as leader and from the council in May following what she describes as "bullying and sexism" from Momentum supporters.

I previously linked to a Times article and interview here giving Claire Kober's side of the story, and another in the Guardian, which makes a valiant effort to cover all sides of the issue here.

A further take on the manner in which Momentum operated in Haringey as part of a wider look at how middle class hard-left virtue signallers can end up hurting the poor is provided in an article by Rachel Sylvester, which suggests that

"The Hard Left are just as bad as Marie Antoinette."

I have no doubt that there will have been some genuine problems with the development proposals which Momentum activists have been jumping on bandwagons to oppose; no real-world scheme is ever perfect and as Thomas Sowell said,



Nevertheless, among the cogent criticism in Rachel Sylvester's article about wealthy socialists who lived elsewhere seeking to block developments which might have provided better housing and opportunities for people less fortunate them themselves, there was one particularly telling quote about the Momentum campaign against a local development vehicle in Haringey:

"Campaigners against the development have no alternative proposal for dealing with the housing shortage that has left 3,000 families living in temporary accommodation."

(Their main ideological objection, by the way, appears to be that the development vehicle included a partnership with the private sector.)

At some time between now and 2022 there will be a general election which could very easily result in the election of the most left-wing government Britain has ever had. At least people will no longer be able to say that democracy has never provided them with a choice.

Neither the present state of affairs or the present government are perfect and it is right that people should look at a range of options. But I hope that when they come to cast their votes people will look carefully at the track record of extreme socialist ideas where they have been implemented in other countries such as Venezuela, the Soviet Union or in local councils.

There is a 100% record of failure in all those countries which have tried to completely replace private ownership or the market; extreme left measures have nowhere, nowhere at all ultimately succeeded in helping the poor, or anyone else.

Quote of the day 14th February 2018


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Email issue resolved for the moment

My County Council email has had a problem - again - which it took a distressing amount of time to solve. It went out of action on 30th January and was fixed today. I have therefore been ploughing through a vast backlog of two week's worth of email messages.

Apologies if you have been trying unsuccessfully to contact me.

The Okey Cokey budget

I have been looking through the budget papers for Thursday's precept setting meeting of Cumbria County Council.

There seems to be a higher than usual proportion of smoke and mirrors in the Labour/Liberal Democrat administration's budget than is normal even for them.

There are a whole list of "savings" which are very far from achieved and then a whole list of items putting pressure on the council finances which take them out again.

One person connected with the council - no names, no packdrill so as not to make them a target for revenge - called it the Okey Cokey budget. They had a point.

As previously mentioned the budget meeting of Cumbria County Council will be held this Thursday, 15th February 2018, at 10am at County Hall in Kendal. The meeting is open to the public.

For those with a strong stomach, all the papers for the meeting are available on the County Council website at:

http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=123&MId=10031

Quote of the day 13th February 2018

"I'm not saying it's a slow news day but the big story on the BBC right now is about an animated rabbit throwing berries."

(Adam Bienkov @AdamBienkov yesterday on Twitter referring to controversy about the animated Peter Rabbit film.)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Best headline of the year

I won't have been too funny for drivers affected by an accident this afternoon which caused the closure of a slip road at Junction 44 of the M6, but Cumbria Crack has published what has to be the funniest headline of the year to date:

"Drivers stuck in traffic after lorry sheds its' load of glue."

Cumbria County Council budget meeting 15th February 2018

The budget meeting of Cumbria County Council will be held this Thursday, 15th February 2018, at 10am at County Hall in Kendal.

The meeting is open to the public.

All the papers for the meeting are available on the County Council website at:

http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=123&MId=10031

Quote of the day 12th February 2018

A number of famous people share 12th February as a birthday, including Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Hence this seems an appropriate quote for today ...



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Learning the lessons of Grenfell Tower: time to address Building Control

If a report in today's Sunday Times is correct, building control inspectors have continued after the Grenfell Tower disaster to approve new residential skyscrapers in which the homes on a number of floors can only be reached by one staircase.

Planning law in Britain has two elements: development control, the process for giving planning permission, is seen as a non-professional matter which may if the relevant authority so decides be determined by politicians. Building control, however, which is mainly about safety, has seen as a professional matter which is entirely delegated to experts and in which politicians do not interfere.

Up until now I have always been happy with that division of responsibility. No matter how strong their electoral mandate on matters of general policy, it would not be sensible to allow councillors or ministers who may have no training whatsoever in the relevant disciplines over-ruling professionally qualified experts to decide that an actual or proposed building is safe when the experts say it isn't. Or, I have always considered in the past, vice versa.

However, when the rules appear to be allowing, perhaps requiring, the professionals to make decisions which seem to fly in the face of common sense, it is perhaps high time we had another look at those rules. I still don't think that a politician should ever be able to say "this is safe" of something that the professionals think is dangerous. But perhaps there should be some circumstances where the politicians can at least ask "Are you absolutely sure about that" when the professionals say something is safe.

At least some fire safety experts argue, and some other countries' fire safety rules mandate, that residential buildings above a certain height must have more than one staircase to all floors. If the UK's current guidance on Building Regulations does not apply that rule, I hope that DCLG will have another look at that as a matter of urgency, and not wait for the outcome of the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

Sunday music spot: Bach Harpsichord Concerto in D minor

One of my favourites which last featured on this blog on General Election day 2017:


Quote of the day 11th February 2018

McDonnell ...  starts from the view that public ownership is right and then asserts 'it’s the most efficient way of running public services'.

He can afford to take such an ideological view, despite the mixed evidence, because the idea of public ownership is popular.

Superficial opinion-poll findings are, however, a poor guide to policy. People are dissatisfied with rail services in particular and assume they would be cheaper and more reliable in public ownership. I would say the evidence for this is thin.

As for the idea that more public ownership would lead to a shift of wealth and power to 'working people,' irreversible or not, I think the evidence for that is non-existent.

(John Rentoul, chief political columnist of The Independent, in an opinion piece,

"John McDonnell's renationalisation plan is clever politics - but bad policy.")

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A warning from Scotland for the UK as a whole

Stephen Daisley has written a powerful article,

"Will the SNP ever be able to govern?"

which describes the failure of the SNP government of Scotland.

He argues that the obsession with independence has distracted the Scottish government from paying proper attention to other issues from education and health to policing. In his words,

"Independence, and latterly Indyref 2, became an all-consuming obsession that sucked political oxygen out of the more mundane matters of health and education. The SNP became a government of one issue and every other issue became a victim of neglect."

This should serve as a warning to the UK as a whole, one which applies to those on both sides of the 2016 referendum and particularly the hardliners on both sides.

Our obsession with Brexit must not be allowed to do for other issues in the UK what the obsession with Independence has done to them in Scotland.

Yes, Brexit is important. But it is not the only thing which matters.

Attempts on the one hand by some hardline Brexiteers to sabotage any attempt to keep a constructive relationship with the rest of Europe, while on the other hand some hardline Remainders are equally determined to try to frustrate the referendum result, must not be allowed to cause all the other important issues which demand attention to be neglected.

Saturday Music spot: "Let the Bright Seraphim" (Handel)

Quote of the day 10th February 2018

"Now this part we call the Thagomizer, after the late Thag Simmons."

(Cartoonist Gary Larson, text of a "Far Side" cartoon which depicted a hominid teacher pointing out  to his class the spikes on the tail of a Stegosaurus stenops.

This made Larson the only cartoonist to have named part of a dinosaur, because real palaeontologists immediately adopted this term from his Far Side cartoon, and it has now become the official usage to describe the tail spikes of Stegosaurus and other similar dinosaurs.)

Friday, February 09, 2018

Hell has officially frozen over again ...

Well, well, well. An article on "Brexit central" is called out for praise by the Chief political columnist of the (strongly pro-Remain) Independent newspaper.

And that same article on "Brexit Central" quotes approvingly a report commissioned by the European parliament.

Hell has officially frozen over again!

It would appear that, just for once, a few people on both sides of the "Remain/Leave" divide have actually looked with an open mind about how we can find solutions to some of the very difficult problems facing Britain as we prepare to leave the EU.

In this case one of the most difficult challenges of the lot, the issue of the Irish Border.

I am one of the first to agree that this is very hard to crack, so much so that my doubts before the referendum about whether it could be solved in an acceptable way were one of the three main reasons why after a lot of agonising I decided to vote Remain.

But the country voted Leave and now we have to find a solution to the Irish border which doesn't wreck the economy of both halves of Ireland, sabotage the EU customs union, prevent Britain from striking trade deals, or make a nonsense of UK immigration policy.

In the face of an enormous wave of pessimism about this, Hugh Bennett's excellent article,

"It's time to stop doom-mongering over the Irish border - the solutions are already out there"

is a refreshing change in taking a positive look for solutions rather than giving up and just recounting the problems.

And, fascinatingly, one of the places they found some solutions was, quote,

"A report commissioned and published by none other than the European Parliament – hardly a hotbed of optimistic post-Brexit thought – entitled Smart Border 2.0: Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland for Customs control and the free movement of persons."

Specific solutions proposed to “create a low-friction border for the movement of goods” by the report include:

A bilateral EU-UK agreement regulating an advanced Customs cooperation that avoids duplication and where UK and Irish Customs can undertake inspections on behalf of each other;

Mutual recognition of Authorized Economic Operators (AEO); A Customs-to-Customs technical agreement on exchange of risk data;

Pre-registration of operators (AEO) and people (Commercial Travellers programme in combination with a Certified Taxable Person programme);

Identification system by the border;

A Single Window with one-stop-shop-elements;

A Unique Consignment reference number (UCR);

A simplified Customs declaration system (100% electronic) with re-use of export data for imports; Mobile Control and Inspection Units;

Technical surveillance of border (CCTV, ANPR etc)

The report only describes a low friction border, not an entirely frictionless border, calling as it does for the installation of CCTV and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras.

However, cameras and, checks away from the physical border of the kind described are not going to wreck the economies of both parts of the island of Ireland the way a hard border would, yet this kind of solution holds out the prospect of implementing the necessary controls which are necessary to avoid fatally undermining the trade and immigration policies of either the EU or the UK without a hard border.

(NB there are some technical terms in the list above. They are explained in the paper. If you want to know what any of them mean, move your mouse over the words "Smart Border 2.0" and left click and you will be taken to the paper where you will find the explanations.)

Hugh Bennett concludes:

"Ultimately, coming up with a workable solution to the problem requires the British and Irish governments – and more importantly, the EU – to accept that there is a balance to be struck between the small increase in the risk of non-compliance and the imperative to keep the border as open and invisible."

"To put concerns over a marginal increase in possible non-compliance ahead of an issue of genuine human concern – keeping the border smooth and open – would be a clear mistake. Once the EU accepts this, it should be well within the capabilities of both sides to come up with a solution for the border which works in the best interests of everyone on both sides of it."

Momentum remove non-violence from their code of ethics

Apparently the Labour party's hard-left Corbynista fan club Momentum has adopted an ethics code.

And according to the Guardian, Momentum have modified that code when they adopted it to take out a proposed commitment to non-violence.

The original draft code stated that

Momentum is wholly committed to working for progressive political change through methods which are inclusive, participatory and nonviolent.

The words "and nonviolent" were removed when the code was adopted.

Whatever excuse they use for this change I cannot see the group which currently controls a majority of votes on the National Executive Committee of Britain's main opposition party explicitly deciding not to make a commitment to nonviolence as anything other than a worrying development.

Inspectorate praises Cumbria Constabulary

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall has welcomed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary's national report into police leadership, where Cumbria Constabulary are praised for best practice in a number of areas.

As part of its annual PEEL inspection, HMICFRS inspectors examined the degree to which leadership is understood within policing, how forces work to develop leadership, and how well leadership is displayed by a force. Leadership is inspected at all ranks and grades

Commenting on the report, Peter McCall said: “This is excellent news that the hard work and leadership of Cumbria Police has been recognised for best practice no less than three times in this national report covering all forces in England and Wales.

“This latest report confirms previous ones in the last two years grading Cumbria Police as Good across the board and highlights examples of excellent leadership in a number of areas, namely: Developing a focus on wellbeing; Improving promotion selection processes; and most importantly Understanding Vulnerability and how to deal with this including investigations.

“Regarding ‘Understanding Vulnerability’, the Report uses the force as an example of good practice, stating the they ‘found senior leaders communicating their strategy of protecting vulnerable people in many ways’, citing the recent ‘Keep me Safe’ project. The project has a multi-stranded approach to ensure that everyone, officers, staff, volunteers, know their responsibilities around safeguarding.

“In terms of developing a focus on wellbeing, the Report highlights a number of positive examples, citing the regular Wellbeing Board chaired by the DCC, and the ‘valuing individuals’ group. Supervisors that the assessors spoke to said they were actively encouraged to do what they can to maintain a better work-life balance, for instance, ensuring they take their allocated rest day.

“Whilst there is always more to be done and the force can never afford to be complacent, it is absolutely right that they have credit and recognition where it is due. This report is produced by HMICFRS, the experts who inspect every force in the country, it is therefore a great testimony to the hard work, dedication and professionalism of every member for Cumbria Constabulary to be recognised in these important areas. I hope the people of Cumbria will wish to join me in publicly congratulating the Chief Constable, our police officers, PCSOs staff and volunteers for the great work they do every day to make Cumbria one of the safest counties in the country.”

More details at Cumbria Crack here.

Quote of the day 9th February 2018


Thursday, February 08, 2018

Dates agreed for 12 month trial of maternity at WCH

The Clinical Commissioning Group has now agreed the dates for the 12 month period to test the sustainability and safety of Consultant-led maternity at West Cumberland Hospital (WCH)

Members of the Governing Body were keen to emphasise that this is not merely a stay of execution for the service. It is a timescale for the sustainability and safety of the service to be considered.

It was agreed by members of NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Governing Body that the 12 month period for testing the ability to deliver consultant-led maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven will start in April.

Following the "Healthcare For The Future public consultation" the decision was made by the CCG to support the delivery of consultant-led care at the West Cumberland Hospital with some mothers who may potentially have higher risk babies delivered at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

It was suggested at the time that there would be plans to test the sustainability of the service over a 12 month period, but that period was not started while the outcome of a "call-in" by Cumbria County Council's health scrutiny committee was under consideration. That was finally resolved at the end of 2017.

Over the past year a "Working Together Steering Group" (WTG) and other working groups have been set up involving the community, third sector, frontline health and care staff, as well as system leaders, to support the wider efforts to sustain the service through what has been called "co-production."

An Independent Review Group (IRG) has also been established. This is a panel made up of independent clinical experts chaired by Dr Bill Kirkup, which will assess progress over the 12 months.

Jon Rush, chair of the CCG, said:

“It is already 11 months since we made the decision. There has been considerable work within the service to prepare for the implementation of Option 1 and a huge amount of work by the community to help tackle these long standing recruitment issues.

“But the challenges we faced have not gone away and the uncertainty is not helping this fragile service. The decision to start this 12 month period will allow some certainty.

“The CCG has always been – and remains – committed to doing everything possible to provide consultant-led services at Whitehaven.”

Quote of the day 8th February 2018


“The CCG has always been – and remains – committed to doing everything possible to provide consultant-led services at Whitehaven.”

(Jon Rush, chair of the North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) speaking about the proposed 12 month trial of the new arrangements for consultant-led maternity service at WCH, which will run from April 2018 to April 2019. See next post for more detail)

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Midweek madrigal: "Come Again, sweet love doth now invite," (John Dowland)

Government publishes "Good Work Plan"

The government has announced a "Good Work Plan" giving millions of people who work in flexible jobs new rights. This is part of a package of major government reforms which make the UK becomes one of the first countries to address the challenges of the changing world of work in the modern economy.

Today’s ‘Good Work plan’ comes in response to the independent Taylor Review, published last year, which investigated what impact modern working practices are having on the world of work. The review found that the strength of the UK’s labour market is built on flexibility but that a clearer focus is needed on quality of work as well as the quantity of jobs.

Under these proposals

  • millions of workers will get new day-one rights with sick and holiday pay to be enforced for vulnerable workers for the first time
  • reforms will ensure employment law and practices keep pace with modern ways of working created by rapid technological change
  • for the first time the government will be accountable for good quality work as well as quantity of jobs - a key ambition of the UK’s Industrial Strategy


In some cases the government plans to go further than the Taylor review’s proposals, including:
  • enforcing vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay for the first time
  • a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip for all workers, including casual and zero-hour workers
  • a right for all workers, not just zero-hour and agency, to request a more stable contract, providing more financial security for those on flexible contracts

The Prime Minister 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.