Predictable Working

This post covers the upcoming legislation introducing the provision of more predictable working for casual workers or those on zero-hours contracts, including what employers will need to do to adhere to the changes.

Published Categorised as Employment Law Tagged
Predictable Working 2024 - LighterHR
Predictable Working 2024 - LighterHR

1. What Are the Current Rules around Predictable Working for Casual Workers?

Before introduction of the legislation, there is no legal obligation for employers to guarantee work for workers or employees who have unpredictable working hours (i.e. zero-hour workers or shift workers).

In many cases, this is acceptable to both parties as both get the flexibility that’s needed for some businesses.

However, it can be a cause of distress for some individuals. It means that they have no real insight into what their earnings will be in any week or month.

This is addressed by new legislation The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023. Although the act has been passed, the date for implementation is yet to be confirmed. It is expected to be sometime in September 2024.

2. What Will the Predictable Terms and Conditions Act Mean?

We’ll write more about this legislation closer to the time of implementation as some of the details are still being worked out by the government.

However, the basic changes will be:

  • A worker/employee will be able to apply for a change to their terms and conditions in order to obtain a more predictable working pattern.
  • They will be able to request this at some point during the month before the “prescribed period”.
    • What the “prescribed period” is has yet to be defined.

There will be no obligation on employers to accept the request. However, similarly to flexible working requests, there will be a list of legally acceptable reasons as to why the request is being declined. These will likely be:

  • Burden of additional costs
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
  • Detrimental impact on the recruitment of staff
  • Detrimental impact on other aspects of the employer’s business
  • Insufficiency of work during period the worker proposes to work
  • Planned structural changes

3. What Does an Employer Need to Do for the Implementation of Predictable Working Requirements?

You’ll know whether this is a piece of legislation that is likely to impact your business!

If you are not using casual workers then it’s unlikely that this will be relevant.

If you are using casual workers then this is something that will impact you, that is of course if you receive any requests.

We would suggest that you keep your eyes open for when further information about this particular act is released (we’ll publish an update when more details are confirmed) so that you are prepared if you do receive requests after the legislation is implemented.

If you would like to talk to someone about how you use casual workers and the potential impact of this legislation then do reach out to us.

Read the full list of employment law changes for 2024, with individual posts on each topic, providing all the information you need.

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