Good Work Plan: Important Legislation Changes for April 2020

The Good Work Plan includes recommendations from the Taylor report (Jul-17) which are being incorporated into UK employment law, including three significant employment contract and policy changes that are set to come into force.

Published Categorised as Employment Law, HR Best Practice
2020-02-11 - Good Work Plan Insights - Lighter HR
2020-02-11 - Good Work Plan Insights - Lighter HR

The Good Work Plan is the outcome of the Taylor report (July 2017) and was published in December 2018. There were 53 recommendations and 51 of those are being (or have been) incorporated into UK employment law.

In April 2020, there are three significant employment contract and employment policy changes that are set to come into force if you employ people, plus a number of other changes for which an implementation date is not yet set.

1. Employment Law Changes implemented in April 2019

In April 2019, the Government introduced the following:

  • The right to a payslip has been extended to cover all workers – as well as employees
  • Payslips must now outline hours worked for hourly-paid
  • An increase in the maximum penalty (£20,000) for ‘aggravated breaches of employment’

2. Employment Law Changes taking effect on 6 April 2020

There are three main changes coming into effect on 6 April:

  • Provision of Written Particulars
  • Holiday Pay Calculation
  • Protection for Agency Workers

Extension of the right to a written statement of particulars of employment.

At present, employers have to provide a written statement setting out the basic terms of employment to all employees whose employment lasts for one month or more, and this must be provided within two months of the start of their employment.  This statement must now be given by day 1 of their employment.

The right to a written statement of particulars has been extended to include workers as well as employees.

The legislation also requires additional information to be given, including:

  • The days of the week the employee is expected to work
  • Whether days or hours are variable and if so, the basis on which they will be determined
  • All benefits provided by the employer
  • Probationary period details including conditions for passing and duration
  • Details of training entitlement, mandatory training etc. (including mandatory training which is not funded by the employer)

Increase in the period over which holiday pay is calculated

Currently, the holiday pay of a worker who has irregular working hours is calculated by averaging the number of hours worked over the previous 12 weeks (known as the ‘pay reference period’).

Under the new regulations, the pay reference period will be 52 weeks or, for those workers who have been working for less than 52 weeks, the total number of weeks they have worked.

This change is designed to avoid workers losing out where their working hours are subject to fluctuations such as seasonal variations.

Increased protection for agency workers

Currently, agency workers are entitled to be paid the same rates as permanent employees after 12 weeks, unless they are working under specific contractual arrangements under which they receive a minimum level of pay when they are between assignments (this is known as the ‘Swedish derogation’ model). 

This distinction will be abolished and the right to comparable pay will apply to all agency workers after 12 weeks.

The government has also introduced an obligation to provide agency workers with a Key Facts page providing basic information about their contract, pay rates and pay arrangements.

3. Good Work Plan changes coming into effect with no set implementation date

Increase in the ‘break of service’ continuous period

Presently, a gap of just one week can break an individual’s continuity of service. Therefore, despite regularly working on and off for the same employer over a long period of time, an individual may not build up any significant length of service.

This break period will be extended from one week to four weeks, helping those 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), which require a particular length of service.

Right to request a more predictable and stable contract

This new right will mean an employee can request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks of employment.

Examples of what might be requested include a guaranteed minimum number of hours and certainty as to the days on which they will be asked to work.

This new development will predominantly benefit individuals who are employed as casuals or on zero-hour contracts. An employer will have three months to make their decision on any such request.

Promoting workplace wellbeing (especially with a focus on Mental Health wellbeing)

Introduction of some core standards for employers to adopt, meaning that employers can create a positive and supportive workplace culture themselves.

When we have more information on these changes, we’ll let you know.

4. Support with Good Work Plan

We can help with the changes in The Good Work Plan, including

We also provide HR Administration (as an option in our Outsourced HR service) to support your HR processes, including employee on-boarding, where you need to provide the employee their employment contract or written particulars on their first day. Take a look at what you are currently doing and if you need any help or guidance give us a call on 0203 319 1649 or contact us.

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