The Government’s Good Work Plan sets out a number of employment reforms as a result of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. The heart of the Taylor Review focuses on an overriding ambition that all work should be fair and decent. Four consultation documents have been published alongside the Government’s response to the Review and these focused on: employment status; increasing transparency in the labour market; agency workers; and enforcement of employment rights.
In summary the main proposals are:
- The right to request a fixed working pattern – Workers who work variable hours will be able to request a fixed working pattern after 26 weeks’ continuous service with a Company. At this stage it is thought that the Regulations will not be dissimilar to employee rights regarding requesting flexible working.
- Extending the statutory break in service – The ‘qualifying break in service’ will be extended from one week to four weeks. However, be aware that in accordance with existing case law, additional tests are applied when considering continuous service and it is not always as straightforward as applying the qualifying break!
- Information and consultation – The current threshold for employees to request to set up collective Information and Consultation arrangements will reduce from 10% to 2% of the relevant grouping of employees.
- Employers banned from making deductions from staff tips – In some sectors tips, gratuities and service charges can be a significant part of staff income. Through current practices, employers may only pay a proportion of the tips received to its employees. Through the proposed changes, this will no longer be allowed.
- All employees and workers will be entitled to a written statement of terms from day one of the working relationship (including agency workers) – Currently the legislation applies only to employees and they must be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of starting work. This will be extended to workers, and both workers and employees must be provided with the statement of rights on appointment.
- Employment status to be clearer – Proposals are being put forward for an online employment status tool to be developed, which will hopefully streamline the tests in respect of employment status, making status clearer.
- Statutory Holiday Pay – The reference period will be increased to 52 weeks from 12 weeks.
- Agency Workers – The ‘Swedish Derogation’ in the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 will be repealed, the current situation allows Temporary Work Agencies to avoid matching the amount paid to a temporary agency work in comparison to a directly recruited worker.
- Naming and Shaming – For those employers who fail to pay employees or workers in respect of Employment Tribunal awards, they will face being named through a naming scheme.
The Taylor Review proposed over 50 different reforms, most of which the Government are consulting about or proposing changes. Whilst the Government claims this is the biggest reform of employment legislation in 20 years, we believe that it is more about clarity of some areas where case law has caused confusion. As the Government provides further details in respect of its recommendations, we will share these with you. For further information the Good Work Plan can be found in full by following this link: