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Government Publishes 'Good Work Plan'

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The Prime Minister recently commissioned the independent Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices to ensure that the UK Labour Market can effectively adapt to the changes in Employment Law whilst ensuring the protection of workers’ rights in the UK.

The key proposals which have been put forward include:-

  • Changing the rules of continuity of employment, so a break of up to 4 weeks (currently one week), between contracts will not interrupt continuity.
  • A ban on employers making deductions from staff tips.  This will offer a financial benefit to workers who will receive the tips they earn and also reassure consumers that the money they give to reward the service they receive is going to the staff as they intended.
  • Extending the right to a written statement of terms and conditions to workers, not just employees, and requiring the employer to give this to them on the first day of work rather than within the first two months.
  • The abolition of the Swedish Derogation, which gives employers the ability to pay agency workers less than their own employers and workers in certain circumstances. 
  • With regards to tackling the issues which arise in terms of zero-hour employment contracts, the government is proposing a right to request a fixed working pattern after 26 weeks’ on a non-fixed pattern.  However, this is likely to be similar to the right to request flexible working where an employer must follow a series of procedural requirements but are given considerable discretion to refuse.  The Good Work Plan has given no indicated of what enforcement will be used with regards to this proposal. 
  • Imposing legislation to improve the clarity of the employment status tests which will better reflect the reality of modern working relationships. It has been recommended that employment status tests place more emphasis on control by the employer and less on the ability to send a substitute to work. 
  • Increasing the penalty for employer’s aggravating conduct from £5,000 to £20,000.  However, this is rarely enforced.

If you need advice on any of the proposals raised above or with any employment related matter please do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of our Employment Law Team.