The Good Work Plan sets out the Government’s visions for the future of the UK and comes into effect on 6th April 2020. It follows the Taylor Review theme of providing workers with increased rights, issuing both employers and workers with better clarity surrounding these changes. The Plan also seeks to keep up with new business models and the rapid change in technology.
Legislation to streamline the employment status tests for employment and tax purposes to ensure “the differences between the two systems are reduced to an absolute minimum” (Taylor Review). This will assist those with an uncertain employment status.
Right for Predicable and Stable Contracts on Request
The government has chosen not to ban zero hours contracts as this flexibility benefits some workers. However, employees can request a more fixed working pattern, similar to the current right to request a flexible working pattern having completed 26 weeks of employment.
Requirement for employers to provide a written statement of terms and conditions will be extended to workers. Employers will be required to provide this on the first day of employment rather than the current time frame of two months from commencing employment.
A proposal to extend the length of the gap in employment which has the effect of breaking the continuous service from one week to four weeks. This will allow more employees access to ongoing continuity of service.
There is a proposed ban on employers making deductions from staff tips. There is currently no detail on how this will be done and it awaits legislation.
The Good Work Plan is in agreement with the Taylor Review recommendations for a 52-week reference period to determine holiday pay. This helps workers particularly those in seasonal or atypical roles to have fair holiday pay.
The Swedish Derogation
This is a legal loophole that allows employers to pay agency workers less than permanent staff. There is legislation to repeal this derogation to prevent types of contracts which withhold agency workers’ equal pay rights.
Information and Consultation
Steps are to be taken so that employees have a voice to achieve fair and decent work. The existing threshold needed for a request to set up such an agreement will be lowered from 10% to 2% of employees. The 15-employee minimum threshold for consultation will remain.
Legislation to increase the maximum penalty an employment tribunal can impose upon an employer for breach of employment law has been brought forward by the Government. It will increase from £5,000 to £20,000. In addition, tribunals are under obligation to consider sanctions for repeated breaches.
Extended Protection for Pregnant Women and New Parents
In January 2019, the Government published a consultation seeking views on extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents. The consultation proposes that the Government extends the current protection by 6 months. This is still under review.
The Good Work Plan lays out key processes that will affect both employers and employees. Although offering structure it currently lacks any real detail. Only time, along with Brexit, will tell what the implications will be regarding implementation and what the proposals will truly mean to the workforce.
For the full Government Good Work Plan document – please click here
PSHR are always on hand should you require further information and guidance on how to implement the proposals mentioned.
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