The Good Work Plan – The key changes in Employment Law in 2020 and beyond and how they affect you.
Over the coming year, in fact some on the 6 April this year there will be a number of changes in Employment law, these are designed to provide greater protection for those working under flexible working arrangements, changes in holiday calculation periods and increased protection for agency workers.
These changes above are all part of the Good Work Plan, our aim is to arm you with the knowledge and help you to better understand both what you need to prepare for immediately and plan for in the next few months.
The background to the Good Work Plan
Over time working relationships have changed, in the UK we have many types of working models and some of which have become outdated in our ever-changing society.
A review was undertaken in 2017 as it was recognised there was a need for change, this was The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, from this report 53 recommendations were put forward by Matthew Taylor and from this report, the majority of them were accepted in principle by the government.
From that point a series of consultations have taken place and as with any proposals these have taken time. It was in 2019 when the final publication of the Good Work Plan was released, and this was described as the “vision for the future of the UK labour market”.
What has already been implemented
It is in the main widely know employees have the right to an itemised payslip, this right was extended to all on 6 April 2019.
Previously this included just employees, however from the date above this right was extended to include:
- Agency staff
- Zero Hours staff
- Casual Staff
- And any other types of staff who are included on the payroll.
We can assist you make the employee/worker distinction in any eventuality and offer assistance with the details needed for your itemised pay slips.
What is changing on 6 April 2020
At present employers must provide a written statement (commonly known as a Contract) and need to do so within 8 weeks of the employee commencing their employment, at present the document needs only basic information to be compliant.
What is changing in this area and what do you need to do
Under the new legislation the Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 & Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019, employees commencing employment on or after 6 April 2020 must be provided with the Written Statement on their first day of employment with you.
Form the 6 April 2020 there will be additional content requirements, which must include:
???? Terms relating to days or weeks they are required to work;
???? Hours & days of work which may be variable, & how that variation is calculated;
???? Any terms relating to paid leave such as mat leave;
???? Benefits provided such as medical cover, bonuses etc;
???? Details of any probationary period, & length of probation any conditions applicable; and
???? Any training provided, including that which is a prerequisite of the role & any other training they must complete, but for which the employer will not contribute towards.
It is important to include workers, please contact to discuss, we can assist you make the employee/worker distinction in any eventuality and offer assistance with the drafting of your new bespoke documentation.
How will it affect Agency Workers
At present after 12 weeks of service, an agency worker is entitled to receive the same level of pay as a permanent worker, they may have a specific agreement in place with contractual arrangements, they may opt out of this right and instead elect to receive a guaranteed level of pay between any temporary assignments this is known as “Swedish Derogation” model.
As part of the changes happening on 6 April 2020, this opt-out will be removed so that all agency workers will have a right to pay parity after 12 weeks.
Agencies will also be obliged to provide workers with a document to be known as a “Key Facts “ page, this should provide the worker with basic information in relation to their contract, pay arrangements and salary.
It is a good time for you to consider your recruitment tactics and planning, taking into consideration how you use agency candidates on assignments in the future and on what contract types.
Reputable agencies will be fully prepared for these changes, we can recommend excellent agencies.
We can also assist in we can assist you make the employee/worker distinction in any eventuality and recommend reputable recruitment agencies.
Changes to the calculation of holiday periods – how will this affect you
At the moment the holiday pay when calculated based on irregular hours is calculated by averaging the number of hours worked over the previous 12 weeks, this is known as “ the pay referencing period”.
From April 6 2020, you will need to use a reference period of 52 weeks, or for anyone working less than 52 weeks, you would record the actual number they have worked, this replaces the current 12 weeks when calculating holiday pay for those whose pay varies, this will include variable working patterns including zero hours, seasonal and temporary workers.
This method will result in a payment which balances out any peaks and troughs of working hours throughout the year.
The mandatory reference period for calculating holiday pay will increase for employees with variable pay, such as zero hour workers.
What can you do now
It is wise to start making the change within your business ahead of April 2020 deadline.
If your holiday year starts in January, you may want to consider implementing the change from that timeframe in line with your holiday year or wait until April 2020.
New legislation will be introduced “Parental Bereavement Leave”– how will this affect you
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 will come into force in April 2020. This will also be known as ‘Jack’s Law’ in memory of a child whose mother campaigned on the issue, we will see the implementation a statutory right to a minimum of two weeks’ leave for all employed parents if they lose a child who is under the age of 18 or if a baby is stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Jacks Law, which will come into effect on 6 April, the law will protect all parents employed with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service, parents will also be entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Individuals with less than 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to take two weeks of unpaid leave.
Bereaved parents will be entitled to take their leave over a 2-week period or take 2 two separate weeks.
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.
We can assist you with your policy documentation, it is imperative to ensure this policy is added to your Employee Handbook.
The Good Work Plan contains changes with no set implementation, we have detailed most below, and we will of course keep you updated:
Changes to Break in Service” periods an increase for employees
Currently, a gap of one week or more is sufficient to be classed as a break in an employees continuity of service.
There are exceptions to this, in situations where legislation dictates that continuity is then preserved for a longer period, for instance: redundancy and also incapacity dismissals.
In the new proposal the government has made the commitment to increase the gap required to break continuity of service to four weeks.
Inevitably this will make it easier for employees with irregular working patterns to accumulate continuity of service.
New rights to a “more stable” contract”
In line with the Good Work Plan, the government has also committed to the introduction of the right to a more stable working pattern, this would be subject to have acquiring at least 26 weeks service and will apply to both employees and workers.
This would undoubtedly assist seasonal, temporary, zero hours and anyone working on irregular hours at the moment.
Changes to flexible working – how will this affect you
in this area even The Queen (along with many other areas of The Good Work Plan) has been discussing this as part of her Christmas message.
There are proposals which are under consideration, these affect the right to a reasonable amount of notice to any working hours. The right not to suffer any detriment when refusing hours of work at unreasonable notice and the right to be compensated when hours due to be worked are cancelled without a reasonable notice period.
Changes to “Tips and Gratuity’s” How will this affect you
New rules will be introduced although no date has been decided, this will ensure that all “tips and Gratuity’s are given directly to the employee/worker in the future rather than the employer.
We can assist you draft your bespoke Handbook documentation in readiness.
Changes to consultation and Information arrangements – how will this affect you
The review identified that inclusion for employees is currently disproportionate, representation on topics in the workplace on particular subject matters, the divulgence of information and in particular the consultation process.
At present support is required from at least 10% of the workforce, this will be reduced dramatically to 2%, it has been agreed that the minimum of 15 employees will remain in force.
We are experts in TUPE, Redundancy and happy to assist you with any part of the process.
Enforcement will take place – how will this affect you
Hopefully this will not apply to you, as you will never be in the unfortunate situation of having to face a tribunal claim.
Under any of the final proposals once launched, employers will face an enforcement proceeding to include penalty of up to 50% of the unpaid compensation award. This may also include a public “naming and shaming”.
We can assist you whereby you are facing any claim being brought against you or potential claim, please do not delay.
The Good Work Plan in conjunction with Taylor Review is in-depth, overall this is a whistle-stop tour, please do contact us for more information and clarity, we can help and assist you with any concerns you may have and how they will affect you.
Contact us today: [email protected]
Author: Fran Crossland
12 January 2020