At the end of 2016, the government appointed Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, to head up a review of “Employment practices in the modern economy”.
Matthew Taylor has said that there is evidence that businesses are using self-employment laws and engaging "so-called gig workers" to avoid tax. Businesses can save with these models because they do not pay employers' national insurance contributions and generally don't pay holiday and sick pay entitlements on the basis that the individuals are "self-employed".
Whilst acknowledging that there may be reasons why this is a good thing in terms of the way people are working - presumably a reference to the advantages of flexibility - Mr Taylor was clear that, to a certain extent, people and businesses are creating forms of work to try to avoid tax.
Where gig models promote efficiency, productivity and innovation, that is one thing but not trying to evade tax.
There have been many reports on the rise of zero-hours contracts and Mr Taylor's comments follow a day after a TUC report indicating that the growth of "insecure work" results in a tax hit as high as £4bn a year. The TUC has said that the main worry is low paid self-employment.
Mr Taylor has acknowledged that some people make a choice to have flexible work but others may have no choice and feel exploited. He described it as "a very complicated system".
The employment tribunals are consistently finding that gig workers are not genuinely self-employed but are "workers" - the recent Pimlico Plumbers, Uber and CitySprint decisions being recent examples. As workers, they are entitled to holiday pay and the national minimum wage. However, the tribunals are considering the status of gig workers for employment rights purposes, not tax purposes. A "worker" is not a tax status at present - for tax you are either employed or self-employed.
The intention appears to be to provide greater clarity so that businesses are able to create an appropriate working model for them where everyone knows what their rights are.
However, it may be that change does not come with new legislation. Mr Taylor expressed the view that there may be ways of "persuading people to do the right thing" through support and encouragement.
The Chancellor has expressed concern about the issue so reform of the tax system may be on the agenda.
Matthew Taylor told the BBC that he wanted to see a new standard of "fair and decent" work which the public and private sector could sign up to.He said that new flexible ways of working were very good for many businesses and people, but said a complicated tax system and lack of clarity on the law meant that employers and employees often clashed.Some were deliberately using so-called gig workers to avoid paying contributions to the Treasury, he said.