The Policy Download

The weekly summary of tech policy and politics
Issue 39 / 30 July 2021
 Feature story 

Labour sets out its new policy for the gig economy (link)

The Labour Party published a set of proposals for how the future of work should look. The key proposal is to get rid of different classes of work (employee, worker, independent contractor) and roll it all up into "worker". 

Every worker would get full and comprehensive rights and protections on day one, as well as regular and agreed shift patterns. How does this work for the employer's control of the worker? You have to assume they get full control on day one. Is a worker required to give a full one (or three, or six) month's notice if they want to leave after one day? What do workers who quite like flexible shift patterns do? 

This is exactly the kind of policy that sounds nice until you think about it for more than five seconds, and so I'm a bit surprised that it's managed to get out of an organisation whose job is partially to think for more than five seconds about policy. 

I am pretty confident no one at Labour who was involved in writing this policy has ever been responsible for actually employing someone, which in and of itself is an important point. 
 Other stories this week 

Damian Collins chairs again (link)

Damian Collins was elected Chair of the Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill. The Committee will run pre-legislative scrutiny on the Draft Bill. Bad news for platforms: Collins is a vocal proponent of platform liability. 

Julian Knight sets up his own inquiry (link)

In a completely hilarious turn of events, Julian Knight and the DCMS Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation have set up their own inquiry into the Online Safety Bill. Nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry. 

The Government has opened vendor applications for Help to Grow: Digital (link)

You can now apply to provide software to SMEs through the Government's Help to Grow scheme. 
 Consultations to note 

Digital identity and attributes consultation: DCMS (link) - opened 19/07/21, closing 13/09/21.

Online safety and online harms: DCMS Sub-committee on Online Harms and Misinformation (link) - opened 27/09/21, closing 03/09/21.

Draft Online Safety Bill: Draft Online Safety Bill Joint Committee (link) - opened 29/07/21, closing 16/09/21.

UK Prospectus Regime: HM Treasury (link) - opened 01/07/21, closing 24/09/21. 

A new pro-competition regime for digital markets: DCMS (link) - opened 20/07/21, closing 01/10/21.

Enterprise Management Incentives: HM Treasury (link) - opened 03/03/21.
 Next week in Parliament 

Danny Dyer brings you his view on Parliament being on recess here.  
 My recent work 
Big growth at Taso Advisory

I'm delighted to welcome four, yes four!, new joiners to the Taso Advisory team. You can read a top write up from POLITICO's Matt Honeycombe-Foster here. Margot James, former Digital Minister, joins as Non-Executive Chair. Jennifer Powers, former Westbourne Comms MD, joins as Senior Advisor. Spencer Powers, former Hanbury Strategy and Labour Party digital policy lead, joins as a Director. Mia Bartoloni, former Dods PLC consultant, joins as a Consultant. I would say this, but these four cement Taso Advisory as the tech policy shop. You should work with us. 

If you'd like a conversation about how either Taso Advisory or Greenstone Research can support you, please just get in touch. 
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Ben Greenstone is the author of The Policy Download.

Ben is the managing director of Taso Advisory, a public policy consultancy, and director of Greenstone Research, a subscription research service. Before this, Ben was an adviser to UK government ministers, including two ministers with responsibility for digital and the creative industries.

You can get in touch with Ben at: or

Ben tweets at @ben_greenstone.
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