The Good Work Plan comes into force on Monday 6 April 2020 and has been dubbed the "biggest overhaul of employment law in 20 years." The plan has come about as a result of the independent review conducted by Matthew Taylor.
Although some elements of the plan are still pending further clarity, Croner – our trusted HR partner – explain the areas that businesses can begin to prepare for now. As an English UK member, you can contact Croner via the free English UK business support helpline.
The Good Work Plan: what you need to know
Workers entitled to see key terms of their contract
From April 2020, all workers will be entitled to receive a document that sets out all of the key terms of their contract.
This document must be given from the first day of their contract. Currently, employers only need to provide key terms of an employee's contract within two months. You should liaise with HR to be ready to implement this change and be mindful of any additional administrative burdens this could place upon them.
The right to request a 'more stable' contract
All workers have the right to request a 'more stable' contract after after 26 weeks of service. You should be prepared to introduce a system for processing these requests, which can be similar to how flexible working requests are currently handled.
Remember that while you can refuse a request, you will need to provide sound business reasons for doing so. Also, like flexible working, it is expected that there will be a three-month timeframe with which to deal with the request.
The break in continuous service to increase
Currently, a gap of just one week can break an individual's continuity of service. This can restrict their access to key rights of employment and can occur despite the employee working regularly on and off for the same employer.
Therefore, as of April 2020, the gap will increase to four weeks, making it easier for those employees who work sporadically to qualify for more employment rights.
You should review current processes and liaise with HR and payroll to ensure they are aware of this and are not unlawfully denying rights to workers. It is advisable to re-evaluate current processes in light of this to avoid falling into traps. You may end up having to provide rights and entitlements when you don't intend to because of previous allowances when taking on casual workers.
Deductions from staff from tips and gratuities banned
A significant change for those working in the hospitality and catering industry is that employers will be banned from taking "administrative fees" from tips and gratuities. These fees will pass directly to the individual, rather than taken by the employer.
Organisations are advised to carry out a review of their current tipping practices, ensuring they understand the process in place and whether deductions are being made from tips.
Any documentation in place on this practice can also be reviewed. This will ensure the organisation is in a good position to implement the new restrictions placed upon them by the legislation once these are introduced.
Further protections for agency workers
Agency workers will have the right to key facts pertaining to the type of contract they are accepting. This includes their rate of pay, who is responsible for paying it and any deductions or fees that might be taken.
Agency workers will also be included in the equality provisions of the Agency Workers Regulations to ensure they receive wages comparable to permanent workers.
You should liaise with HR to be ready to implement this change.
Questions? English UK members can access the free business helpline
The Good Work Plan will have a significant impact on business operations soon. Members of English UK can ask any questions on the free English UK business helpline.
You can call the helpline for practical advice on your business problems, a second opinion or a simple explanation of new legislation. This service is completely free of charge.
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