Largest upgrade in a generation to workplace rights – what do the proposed reforms entail for businesses?

By KMC Human Resources

14 Jan 2019

A new set of workplace reforms were set out by the government last month, paving the way for several changes to better protect flexible workers.

The reforms stem from employment tsar Matthew Taylor’s ‘review into working practices’, published earlier in 2018. Taking forward 51 of Mr Taylor’s 53 recommendations, the government claim that the package of measures in the ‘Good Work Plan’ will ensure that workers can access ‘fair and decent work’.

The new legislative measures, which are expected to come into force from April 2020, include: The right to a written statement of rights for workers from day one of their employment. This will include detail on rights such as eligibility for sick leave and pay and details of other applicable paid leave, such as maternity and paternity leave Repealing the ‘Swedish derogation’ – a loophole that allowed agency workers to be employed on cheaper rates than permanent counterparts Increasing the maximum employment tribunal fines for employers who are demonstrated to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight from £5,000 to £20,000 Extending the holiday pay reference period from 12 to 52 weeks. This will ensure those in seasonal or atypical roles receive paid time off Lower the threshold required for a request to set up Information and Consultation arrangements from 10% to 2% Businesses that employ ‘gig workers’, agency workers, seasonal staff or workers on ‘zero hours’ contracts, will need to take note of the new measures and ensure they are set up to comply with them.

Pay rates across worker types may need to be reviewed in light of the forthcoming legislative changes to ensure that all workers are paid fairly, regardless of their status. The right to a written statement from day one is also a key change that businesses will need to implement. For further advice on interpreting the legislation or to access help in deploying the necessary changes in your organisation, contact KMC Human Resources today.

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