A closer look at the Good Work Plan

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There are a number of changes due to come into force with effect from 6 April 2020 following Theresa May’s Government’s Good Work Plan, issued in December 2018 following the Taylor Review into Modern Working Practices.

The three main ones relevant for businesses going forwards are set out below.

Contracts

The current law states that all employees must be given (as a minimum) their “section 1 statement of terms” within two months of starting employment.

Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA”) states the minimum information required to be provided to employees. To date, this has applied to employees only. The format is the choice of the employer so long as the requisite information is given, and any changes must be documented accordingly. A failure to provide the information within the requisite timescale can bring about a claim for two (or four) weeks’ pay at the statutory cap.

The most significant change coming into force from the Good Work Plan is that this right to an initial statement of terms is to be extended to workers (e.g. casual and zero-hours) as well as employees. Furthermore, the statement will be required to be given to the individual on or before the first day of employment/engagement.

Under the new regulations, building on the particulars already required under section 1 ERA, the required information for statements from 6 April 2020 will be:

  • the names of the employer and employee
  • the date when the employment/engagement began
  • for employees only, (if different) the date when the period of continuous service began
  • job title or description
  • a new requirement for details of any probationary period
  • the scale or rate of remuneration or method of calculation
  • the intervals at which the remuneration is paid
  • terms and conditions relating to hours of work, including provisions relating to normal hours and a new requirement including the days of the week the worker is required to work and, if variable, how the variation will be determined
  • the place of work or an indication that the employee will work at various placed
  • terms and conditions relating to holiday entitlement and holiday pay, including bank holidays and the calculation of accrued pay on termination
  • terms and conditions relating to sick leave and sick pay (this can be referred to in another reasonably accessible document)
  • a new requirement for terms and conditions relating to entitlement to any other paid leave (this can be referred to in another reasonably accessible document)
  • terms and conditions relating to pensions
  • a new requirement for terms and conditions relating to any other benefits provided
  • the notice period required to be given by both employee and employer
  • if not permanent employment, the fixed term or the period it is expected to continue for
  • any collective agreements in place
  • the relevant details if the employee is required to work outside the UK for a period of more than one month
  • details of grievance and disciplinary procedures (or where these details can be found)
  • a new requirement for details of any training that the worker must complete (whoever is required to pay for it).

Only terms relating to pensions, collective agreements, training and disciplinary/grievance rules will be able to be provided in instalments within two months of the employee/worker starting – all other information must be provided upfront.

These requirements only apply to workers joining on or after 6 April 2020, but existing staff will be able to request a statement and they must have one provided within one month.

Holiday pay

There have been a number of issues arising from the calculation of holiday pay over recent years, and the new regulations implement that from 6 April 2020 the reference period for determining an average week’s pay will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This should help businesses in dealing with spikes or seasonal differences in pay.

Agency workers

If your business engages agency workers, it is important to note that from 6 April 2020 the Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 will amend the 2010 Regs by removing the “Swedish Derogation”. This rule enabled employment businesses to avoid giving agency workers pay parity with direct recruits if their employment contract gave the right to pay between assignments – going forwards they will have to have pay parity with direct recruits after 12 weeks.

We Can Help You

If you or your business require advice about the upcoming changes and need assistance in ensuring you are compliant, please get in touch with our specialist Employment Law team through this website or by calling 0330 404 0778.

Our partners at Ashtons HR Consulting may also be able to assist you in preparing for the Good Work Plan.


Much of the detail surrounding the legal changes set out above was lifted from the Good Work Plan. A full version can be found here: The Good Work Plan: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-plan

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