The media has increasingly scrutinised modern employment practices over the last few years, for example featuring stories about the rise of the gig economy, the use of zero-hours contracts, the growth of part-time working and the employment status of contractors working with a single employer.
With an eye on this, the government has launched its ‘vision for the future of the UK labour market’, dubbed ‘one of the biggest shake-ups of employment law in a generation’. The changes are comprehensive, so it is worthwhile for both employers and employees to have an understanding of the new laws.
The Good Work Plan is the Government’s response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. It aims to ‘significantly change the enforcement landscape’ of employment rights to accommodate the new ways of working which have come about with the emergence of new digital platforms.
A couple of changes have already taken place. All workers now have the right to a payslip (with hourly-paid staff also having the number of hours worked outlined). Penalties for ‘aggravated breaches of employment’ have also been increased.
On 6th April 2020, a range of new measures will come in:
Currently, employers have to provide a written statement of particulars of employment to all employees who will be working for a month or more within two months of the start of their employment. This will now have to be given to all workers as well as employees, it must be given on or before day one, and must now also include;
Currently the holiday pay of a worker with irregular hours is calculated by averaging the hours worked over the previous 12 weeks. The new legislation will increase in the period over which holiday pay is calculated to 52 weeks. This aims to be fairer for seasonal workers and others whose working hours fluctuate over the course of a year.
There will also be increased protection for agency workers. Currently certain distinctions exist, which can mean an agency worker will not be paid the same as a permanent employee. These will be abolished in April 2020 and comparable pay will subsequently apply to all agency workers after 12 weeks.
There are future changes planned, which do not currently have an implementation date. These are an extension of the ‘break of service’ period from one week to four and giving all employees with at least 26 weeks service the right to request a stable contract of employment.
Whether you are an employer or an employee it is important to understand how the new employment regulations will affect you. The employment law team at Fraser Dawbarns have experience helping both employers and employees and can help you navigate the changes that the Good Work Plan will bring.
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