‘Good Work Plan’ continues to drive changes
April sees the introduction of a handful of significant changes to employment law. Government policy on employment law continues to be strongly influenced by the recommendations of a review commissioned in 2016. The Good Work: Taylor review of modern working practices was published in 2017. The report made over a dozen recommendations aimed particularly at improving the employment rights of vulnerable workers in the ever-expanding gig economy. A couple of recommendations were introduced in 2018. These were extending the right to an itemised pay slip to workers and introducing a ‘naming and shaming’ scheme for employers who do not promptly pay employment tribunal awards.
The Government consulted on proposals throughout 2018 and 2019. It also published the Good Work Plan, which it described as the ‘biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years’. The changes so far are small, but significant, rather than a radical overhaul of employment rights.
Another recommendation was implemented in 2019 with the increase in the maximum level an employment tribunal can award against an employer for an aggravated breach of employment law from £5,000 to £20,000.
A few more recommendations have found their way onto the statute books and come into force this April. These are changes to the right to a statement of employment particulars; changes to calculating holiday pay for workers with irregular hours; removing a little-used exemption in the agency workers’ regulations; giving agency work seekers the right to key information before taking on work; and lowering the threshold for employees to request information and consultation arrangements.
This leaves a number of outstanding recommendations. Several consultations only closed in October 2019. In the December 2019 Queen’s speech, the government announced that it would introduce legislation which would bring into effect a few more recommendations. These are creating a ‘new, single enforcement body, offering greater protections for workers’; ensuring that tips left for workers go to them in full; and introducing a new right for all workers to request a more predictable contract.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.