Getting to grips with employment law changes

Promoting justice and protecting the vulnerable are the central aims of sweeping changes that will affect how an organisation manages its workforce from April. It’s called the Good Work Plan, and it’s is ‘one of the biggest shake-ups of employment law in a generation.

The Good Work Plan came about as a result of an independent review, known as the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices in July 2017. Its implementation has been slow due to Brexit getting in the way, but now it is happening from 6 April. Are you ready?

Highlights of the employment law reform

Right to request a more predictable and stable contract: This new development will predominantly benefit individuals who are employed as casuals or on zero-hour contracts. This law guarantees a minimum number of hours and certainty as to the days on which they will be asked to work.

Extending continuous service from one week to four weeks will protect employees who work on a sporadic or casual basis to qualify for more employment rights (such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed or the right to statutory maternity pay).

Protecting and entitling agency workers’ rights to receive the same level of pay as a permanent worker after 12 weeks of service.

New rules will ensure that tips and gratuities are passed directly to the individual, rather than taken by the employer.

Promoting good communication

Other sections of the Good Work Plan focus on improving communication and certainty in working relationships. The Employment status test is a commitment to enhancing clarity, following recent case laws, whether someone is an employee, worker or self-employed.

Another relationship management change involves a statement of basic terms which will ensure everyone understands their main contractual terms from the outset. From April 2020, it will not just be employees who are entitled to receive a written document setting out their fundamental terms; this right will be extended to workers too.

For agency workers, the employing business has to provide a document known as a ‘key facts’ page upon employment. This notice will include details of the type of contract, the minimum rate of pay they will receive and details of any fees that might be taken.

In response to recent case law, a new holiday entitlement calculator will be launched and will help people in particular who work variable weeks.

So, with the multitude of changes on the horizon as a result of the Good Work Plan, if you’re an employer, you need to start thinking practically about how it will impact your business.

Alcumus PSM (People & Safety Management) is hosting a free to register webinar on Tuesday 11 February, 10am until 11am all about The Good Work Plan and how you can prepare for it and answer your questions.

Contact the Alcumus PSM HR team for advice by emailing psm.enquiries@alcumusgroup.com or call 01484 439930.

Alcumus PSM (People & Safety Management) specialises in human resources (HR) and health and safety (H&S) consulting for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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