Good Work Plan

The Good Work Plan Key Points

June 2, 2020

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Following the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, The Good Work Plan has been produced and discusses best practice when hiring and new rights for employees and workers.  The following came into force on 6th April 2020:

Right to a Written Statement of Terms from Day 1 of Employment

At the moment, employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of their start date.

The Good Work Plan will change this so that all employees and workers have the right to receive a written statement of terms from their very first day of employment.

The written statement should include the following details:

  • how long a job is expected to last, or the end date of a fixed-term contract
  • how much notice the employer and worker are required to give to terminate the agreement
  • details of eligibility for sick leave and pay
  • details of other types of paid leave e.g. maternity leave and paternity leave
  • the duration and conditions of any probationary period
  • all remuneration (not just pay) e.g. vouchers, lunch, health insurance
  • the normal working hours, the days of the week the worker is required to work, and whether or not such hours or days may be variable, and if they may be how they vary or how that variation is to be determined
  • any training entitlement provided by the employer, any part of that training entitlement which the employer requires the worker to complete, and any other training which the employer requires the worker to complete and which the employer will not bear the cost.

Holiday Pay Reference Period

Currently, for the purposes of calculating holiday pay for those with variable hours, the holiday pay reference period is 12 weeks, which is in keeping with the Employment Rights Act 1996).  However, from 6 April 2020, when calculating holiday pay, average pay should be calculated over a 52-week reference period.

Employers will be required to look back at the previous 52 weeks where a worker has worked and received pay, discarding any weeks not worked or where no payment was received, to calculate the average weekly pay – including payments such as shift allowances, overtime and commission.

Increased protection for Agency workers

The “Swedish derogation” principle, also known as ‘Pay Between Assignment’ contracts, currently entitles agency workers to receive payments when they are not assigned to an end-user but exempt the agency worker from equal treatment to pay when they reach 12 weeks’ service within an assignment.

Under the good work plan, temporary work agencies must provide agency workers whose existing contract contains a Swedish derogation provision with a written statement advising that, with effect from 6th April, those provisions no longer apply.  This should have been given by 30th April 2020.

Furthermore, temporary work agencies must provide agency workers with a Key Information Document, including information on the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, how they will be paid and by whom.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

A new statutory right for employees to take two weeks off work following the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, applied from 6th April.

Bereaved parents will be entitled to take their leave in one two-week block or in two separate blocks of one week. The leave must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.

Bereaved parents employed with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service will also be entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Those with less than 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to take two weeks of unpaid leave.

Changes coming into force but with no set date…

Right to a more stable contract

Zero-hours contracts will still be permitted.  However, under the Good Work Plan, employees and workers who do variable hours will have the right to request a more stable working pattern after they’ve been employed for 26 weeks. This might mean:

  • A guaranteed minimum number of hours to enable them to plan their finances;
  • Fixed days of work to enable them to plan their non-working time e.g. for childcare or a second job.

It is likely that there will be a process for the employer to follow and limited grounds for refusing a request – similar to how flexible working requests are currently dealt with.

Employment Status and Continuous Service

The Good Work Plan will clarify the definitions of “employee”, “worker” and “self-employed” and ensure greater consistency between the tests used by HMRC and the Employment Tribunals to reduce confusion and help businesses categorise their staff correctly.

It will also make it harder to break continuous service. Currently, if an employee stops working for you and there is no expectation that they will come back, their continuous service will be broken unless they come back to you within a week. This means that if you let them go because you had no work for them, but then you find some more work for them two weeks later, their continuous service would drop back to zero. Going forward, the intention is to amend this so that if the employee comes back within four weeks their continuous service will be preserved.

Enforcement of Holiday Pay

Currently, when an employer doesn’t pay holiday pay entitlement correctly, the employee had to take them an employment tribunal. This is set to change with the Good Work Plan.

Other

The Good Work Plan will seek to ban employers from keeping tips intended for their staff.

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