Government Good Work Plan

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elderly worker
The Government has published the ‘The Good Work Plan’; the 68 page document was in response to the findings of the Taylor Review and addresses:

‘a wide range of policy and legislative changes to ensure that workers can access fair and decent work, that both employers and workers have the clarity they need to understand their employment relationships, and that the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose’ (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Good Work Plan includes proposals and new legislation around the rights of workers in the UK who are identified as vulnerable or lacking job security. The reforms are centred around fairness and clarity, and whilst some had hoped for more progress in abolishing zero hour contracts, it is definitely seen as a step in the right direction.

The key points (some of which will come into play in April 2020) are:
  • All workers and employers will be entitled to a written Statement of Rights (Contract) on day one. Currently employers have to provide the employee with a contract within 8 weeks; this will now be on “day one”. There will be additional mandatory content in the Contract that some employees currently only include in the employee handbook; for example the details and eligibility of sick pay, all remuneration details including cash contributions eg vouchers and details of different leave types such as maternity and paternity. The list is expected to be updated;
  • All workers will have the right to request a fixed working pattern after 26 weeks of service, this will provide better job security and the ability of workers to know what sort of hours and days they will be working;
  • Employers will no longer be able to deduct from staff tips. This will have a large impact on those in the hospitality industry in particular, many of whom are on minimum wage and depend on the tips for income;
  • A change in the rules to continuity of service – employees will be able to take a break in a contract for four weeks (currently one) without it affecting their continuous service;
  • The Swedish Derogation will be abolished, whereby agency staff are paid less than permanent staff;
  • Stricter enforcement of fines on employers, with fines for non-payment of claims being raised from £5,000 to £20,000 as well as ‘naming and shaming’ them;
  • An introduction of a new framework in testing the employment status of a “worker” that dictates whether they are an employee/worker or self-employed. This will reduce the inconsistencies between companies where workers have not received all the same rights or the correct taxes have not been paid.
Flexible and fair treatment of all workers is key to the success of the UK labour market. These reforms are a step in the right direction to improving the rights of workers who are not in full time contracts.

The full report can be found here

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