The Good Work Plan was a review conducted by Matthew Taylor for the Government which was reviewed in 2018 so that workers rights in the UK would not take a step backwards when we left the EU.
Part of the review reflected that we have a very flexible approach for workers in the UK, however there are a minority of employers that use the current system to transfer too much risk to the individual which can jeopardise the wellbeing and financial security of the individual and this gives a very one sided flexibility that only favours the employer. Some of the recommendations are therefore to achieve a better balance for all workers.
Changes already implemented in April 2019
Some changes have already come into effect in April 2019 which included:
- The right to being provided a payslip had been extended to cover all workers, not just employees.
- Payslips must now break down the hours worked for hourly paid and any other payments detailed clearly.
- There was an increase in the maximum penalty for ‘aggravated breaches of employment law’
What will come into force in April 2020?
Day 1 right to a Written Statement of Employment
Currently employers have to provide a written statement of employment setting out the basic terms of employment to all employees whose employment lasts for more than one month. This has to be provided within two months of the start of their employment.
From April 2020 this statement must be provided on Day 1 of employment and this must include additional information not previously required in a basic statement of employment including:
- The days of the week the employee is expected to work
- Whether days or hours are variable and if so, the basis on which they will be determined
- All benefits provided by the employer
- Probationary period details including conditions for passing and duration
- Details of training which may be mandatory training for the role and to make clear where the employer does not fund this.
If you already have a Contract of Employment rather than issuing the basic Written Statement of employment, then you are likely to already include the above terms. If you are unsure then we can offer a free review of your Employment Documents to confirm if these are compliant.
Changes to the period in which Holiday Pay is calculated
Currently there is a reference period which is the average pay over the prior 12-week period to establish the rate of pay holidays are paid at for those who may have irregular or varied hours. This will be extended to 52 weeks to help eliminate fluctuation where seasonal variances may take place.
Protecting Agency Workers
From April 2020 the ‘Swedish derogation model’ will be abolished. This meant that agency workers were entitled to be paid the same rates as permanent employees after 12 weeks, unless they are working under specific contractual arrangements under which they receive a minimum level of pay between assignments.
From April 2020, Agency workers will have the right to comparable pay after 12 weeks and there will be a requirement to provide agency workers with
Changes in the pipeline
The Government is undertaking three different consultations which may result in additional legislation being passed.
The following changes have been announced but there are currently no implementation dates confirmed.
Right to request a more predictable and stable contract
The review believed that every individual should not be placed in a situation where they are unable to plan for their future or face financial uncertainty as a result of irresponsible employment practices.
Legislation will be introduced which will allow individuals to request a more fixed working pattern after 26 weeks of service. The aim is that this will apply to both employees and workers.
Extending the break in continuous service
The review identified that individuals that work intermittently for the same employer can find it difficult to gain or access employment rights as they struggle to build continuous service based on the current system.
Currently a gap of 1 week or more is sufficient to break continuity of service (with some exceptions) but the Government has committed to extending this to 4 weeks.
Clarification of Employment Status
The government proposes to legislate to improve the clarity of current employment status tests, potentially placing more emphasis on the control and individual has over their work / rates etc.. and less on the right to provide substitution. The government will also improve the guidance and online tools available to help people understand their status.
Extending the redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents
In January 2019 the Government, through a consultation, sought the views on the current redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents and published its findings in July 2019.
There is no confirmation whether the proposals will be implemented following the election.
Protection for Disabled and Unwell Workers
This topic is under consultation and is focussed on the measures that can be implemented to reduce ill-health related job losses. Many topics are being considered including a review of SSP (Statutory Sick Pay), how sickness may be automatically reported to the Government through payroll, access to Occupational health services for the SME market and the ability for non-disabled workers to make requests for modifications in the workplace.
There is consideration on how to impose a ‘reasonable notice’ period for changes in working hours or cancellation of shifts for workers. This is also considering the compensation that may be applicable where unreasonable notice is given.
For further information feel free to contact us on 0844 8797286 (Local rate) to speak with one of our HR experts.
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