Changes to Employment Law, Rights and Enforcement
Following a BEIS commissioned study and report, "Good work: the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices" was published in December of 2018, recommending several ways to improve the rights of employees and their working lives. The report may be a particular response to the so-called “gig economy” as well as related issues concerning the low paid and atypical/vulnerable working populace.
At set of proposals and consultations took place during 2017/2018 culminating in “The Good Work Plan” presented in December 2018 which describes itself as “…. the biggest package of workplace reforms for more than 20 years”.
Here is a list of the primary areas of reform:
- Right to request more stable/predictable working
- An enhanced ability for casual workers to show continuity of working such that a gap of up to 4 weeks may not break continuity (currently it can be as little as 1 week)
- An abolish of the so-called “Swedish Derogation” for agency workers and an investigation into so-called “Umbrella” or “intermediary” companies
- A ban on deducting money from a staff tips pool
- Enhanced information and consultation regimes applying where 2% of the workforce (or a minimum of 15 employees) make a request (currently it is a 10% requirement)
- Research to be conducted into and focused on finding a way to refine the test for employment status and to try to bring clarity to this decidedly thorny and perennial problem
- The written statement of particulars, currently required after 8 weeks of employment, to be required from the first day and to be enhanced to include length of time a job is expected to last, notice period, sick leave and pay, other rights to leave, probationary period, all pay and benefits, and specific days and times of work
- A “Key Facts” statement to be introduced for the benefit of agency workers to include information about the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, how they will be paid and by whom, any deductions or fees that will be taken, and an illustrative example of what this might mean for their take-home pay
- The current 12-week reference period for calculation of the holiday pay of workers who have variable pay to be increased to 52 weeks
- System of enforcement of holiday pay for vulnerable workers
- Increase from £5000 to £20000 for aggravated breach of employment rights
- A new single State enforcement agency
- Naming (and presumably shaming) of employers who fail to pay tribunal awards
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