The Good Work Plan: an update

Napthens - February 12th 2019

Last month the Government announced the introduction of what they labelled as the “largest upgrade in a generation to work place rights”. The changes announced are due to come into force on 6th April 2020 and primarily focus on bolstering workers’ rights. We have summarised some of the main changes below:

Swedish Derogation
Currently organisations can pay agency workers less than permanent staff. However, under the planned changes this will no longer be the case and agency workers will therefore be entitled to the same level of pay as permanent staff.

Right to a Written Statement
Under the current rules only employees are entitled to a written statement of terms. Currently this must be provided within the first 2 months of their employment. Once the changes come into force, both employees and workers will be entitled to a written statement of terms. This will also need to be provided by employer on day one of their employment/engagement. In addition, workers’ will also be entitled to family leave including maternity and paternity leave.

Currently, an Employment Tribunal is able to impose fines on employers of 50% of any award up to £5000 if there have been “aggravating factors” such as “malice, spite or gross oversight” on the employer’s behalf. This is set to be quadrupled up to a maximum of £20,000. In addition, the Government have also announced its intention to “name and shame” employers who fail to pay tribunal awards; a procedure that is already in force as of 18th December 2018.

Holiday Pay Reference Period
Currently the holiday pay reference period is usually calculated using the pay the individual has received as an average over the 12 working weeks immediately prior to the taking of the holiday. Under the announced changes, the reference period will now be taken across a 52-week period. The aim of this is to ensure that workers take the time off that they are entitled to and not disincentivised from taking holiday leave.
For those of you who are interested you can read the full “Good Work Plan” here.