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The Good Work Plan: How will it impact your business?

The Government has recently published its Good Work Plan which, it says, presents the ‘Government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market‘.

The Good Work Plan primarily sets out the Government’s response to the Taylor Review, a 2017 report on UK working practices. That report was published at a time when the so-called gig economy and the rights of those people not deemed to be workers, were under significant scrutiny from both the media and politically.

The key issues for employers and businesses in the Good Work Plan are:

  • Workers will have the right to request more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks of continuous service.
  • Extending the length of the gap in employment which would normally break continuity of service from 1 week to 4 weeks
  • Removing the ‘Swedish derogation’ which allows agency workers to opt-out of being paid equally when compared to permanent employees – evidence suggests that workers are not benefitting from the opt-out as intended.
  • A ban on employers making deductions from tips paid to staff by customers
  • Changes to the thresholds of staff required for information and consultation arrangements
  • Employees and now workers will be entitled to a written statement of their terms and conditions from the first day of work instead of within 2 months of that date
  • Agency workers will be entitled to a Key Facts Page from the employment business which engages them
  • The reference period for calculating holiday pay will be increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks
  • The Employment Tribunal’s ability to impose a fine on employers whose breach of employment rights is aggravated in specific circumstances, will be revised so that the maximum fine increases from £5,000 to £20,000 (more on this in our article dealing with the upcoming changes in 2019 – you can read it here.)

The Government has already slated a number of the above changes to become law with effect from 6 April 2019.

In particular, employers should note that the right to a written statement of terms from day 1 and the increase in the holiday pay reference pay to 52 weeks will become law from 6 April 2020, as will the removal of the Swedish derogation.

Employers will need to consider the impact of these changes upon their working practices – particularly those who engage workers in addition to employees and those employers who pay irregular incentive payments which may fall within the calculation of holiday pay rates as a result of the much longer reference period.

It is important for businesses affected by the Good Work Plan to make the necessary preparations now to ensure that they’re ready for these changes when they become law on 6 April 2019. For further help and guidance on how the Good Work Plan might impact upon your business, please get in touch with Jonathan Dale, head of the firm’s Employment department, by calling 01482 325242 or emailing jonathan.dale@andrewjackson.co.uk

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