The good work plan is a document published by the UK Government in December 2018 which seeks to set out the future of the work market in the UK including some significant changes that are on the horizon. In the coming weeks, we will focus on this document and what it might mean. In some cases, the proposals raise more questions than answers particularly around what that might mean in practice but you can be confident that we are keeping a close eye on how the areas progress and will be implementing the changes for our clients automatically to ensure you are always compliant and leading the way.
The report is written in response to the Taylor Report which was a commissioned review of the UK labour market which uncovered some areas of concern. You can read the Taylor Report and the Full Good Work Plan on the Government website.
The report also coincides with Brexit, whilst we don’t know what will happen there what we do have is the Prime Ministers pledge that we will not roll back workers rights when we leave the EU and therefore we can expect to see the majority of our current legislation remain in place, at least initially. The Good Work Plan changes seek to make these laws even more fairly balanced between worker and employer. There are a number of key changes outlined in the report which we summarise below (and as further information on timing and what these mean in practice emerge we will share this also):
- The Good Work Plan seeks to tackle one-sided flexibility. This is where the business has transferred too much risk to the individual which has created a detriment to their security and well being. For example building into contracts the ability to cancel shifts at short notice or to send workers home if there is no work. In response to this workers will be able to request a more stable contract (if they want to) after 26 weeks of employment.
- There will also be an extension to continuous service, to remove the risk of intermittent work. This will involve an increase in the period which would be considered a break in service to 4 weeks.
- There will be a lot of focus on agency work and how such workers are treated. It’s been identified that some current legislation, designed to enable agency workers to be paid between assignments, is being misused and has resulted in some agency workers being treated less favourably than permanent counterparts. This will see the removal of ‘payment between assignment contracts’.
- There will be a ban on any deductions from tips.
- All workers will be entitled to a written statement of terms (or contract) and this will be issued on or before day 1.
- A change in the threshold for workers to request information and consultation (on changes) from 10% to 2% (although the minimum of 15 workers will remain).
As you can see there are quite a few things on the horizon and it’s clear some of the details still need to be worked out. As a client of HR2day, we will ensure you know what is changing and how it affects you as well as ensuring it is reflected in your policies and other documents. And well if you are not a client and want to take away some of the headache associated with this why not get in touch on [email protected]