Good Work: a job well done?
20 December 2018 #Other
This week, in its response to the Matthew Taylor Good Work Review, the Government has published a range of proposed changes to employment law. While the Government announced these changes as the biggest reform of employment law in 20 years, the reality is more evolution than revolution.
The following changes have concrete dates when they will come into effect.
From 6 April 2019:
- for breaches of a worker’s rights from that date, the maximum penalty fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight is quadrupled to £20,000.
From 6 April 2020:
- the right to a written statement of terms and conditions of work will apply to workers as well as employees;
- employers will have to provide the statement on the first day of work rather than within two months;
- when calculating holiday pay for employees with variable pay, the pay reference period will be 52 weeks rather than the current 12 weeks;
- abolishing the Swedish Derogation, which permitted agency workers to be paid less than directly employed workers in certain circumstances.
There are a number of other proposals with wide impact, on which the government will need to publish further details and consult before they can become law:
- clarifying the employment status tests so they are the same in almost every case for employment and tax purposes, and to avoid businesses incorrectly classifying individuals as self-employed;
- changing the law so that a break of up to 4 weeks (rather than the current one week) between contracts will not break continuity of employment;
- a right for workers without fixed hours to request a fixed working pattern after 26 weeks employment;
- a ban on employers making deductions from staff tips;
- a new unified labour market enforcement agency (this is currently divided between HMRC NMW team, GLAA and the EASI) to increase vulnerable workers’ awareness of their rights and businesses’ compliance with their obligations to their workforce.
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