The Good Work Plan - Modern Day Working Practices Reform

Matthew Taylor Report, The Good Work Plan, working practices reform...

Following on from recommendations made in the Matthew Taylor Report, which the government commissioned as an independent report looking into modern day working practices, the government has recently annnounced an ambitious package of workplace reforms called The Good Work Plan. Its intention is to upgrade workers' rights, specifically those who are atypical workers such as those on zero hour contracts, temp staff, those on contracts or casual contracts.At the moment there is no timetable to implement the plan but these are the key changes that at some stage will be implemented.

  • Firms will have to provide a "statement of rights" on day one of a person's employment - this will include all casual workers and those on zero hour contracts. The statement will set out employee rights and pay, as well as any leave entitlements such as holiday pay, sick pay, maternity and paternity leave
  • Removing the so called Swedish Derogation, which currently allows fims to pay agency staff cheaper rates than permanent staff doing the same work.
  • A proposal to give those working variable hours/zero hours the right to request a fixed working pattern after 26 weeks' continuous service  
  • A proposal to change the rules on continuity of employment by increasing the break of one week to four weeks between contracts before continuity of contracts is interrupted.
  • A commitment to legislation to streamline the employment status tests so that they are the same for employment and tax purpoases and to avoid employers misclassifying employees/workers as self employed
  • The holiday pay reference period will be extended from 12 to 52 weeks to ensure that seasonal workers acquire the appropriate amount of paid time off when averaging pay
  • A ban on employers making deductions from staff tips
  • Quadrupling the maximum fine at an employment tribunal from £5,000 to £20,000  if an employer is deemed to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight
Whilst these reforms are to be welcomed, I am not convinced that the reforms go far enough in managing the abuse that happens in the "gig" economy but it is at least a step in the right direction.
Jeanette Robinson FREC(Hon)


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