Justice Statue

How The Good Work Plan Will Strengthen Employees' And Workers' Rights2nd Jan 2019

by Neil Andrews on 2nd Jan 2019

Contact Neil Andrews

What Is The Good Work Plan?

The Good Work Plan is the government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market. It follows the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

Here’s what it means for you…

Contact An Employment Solicitor

Written Statement Of Employment Particulars

Previously, employees had the right to receive a written statement of employment particulars within two months of employment.

Now this written statement must be provided on the first day of employment.

This requirement is set out in the Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. 

Changes To How Holiday Pay Is Calculated

The new regulations also amend the rules for calculating a week’s pay for holiday purposes.

Previously this rate was the average hourly rate payable by the employer to the employee over the preceding 12 weeks. Now this period has been extended to 52 weeks.

The aim is to provide greater flexibility for workers whose hours may vary (for example, according to seasonal demand).  

Equal Pay For Agency Workers – Abolition Of The ‘Swedish Derogation’

Agency workers have been able to opt out of their right to receive the same pay as their permanently employed counterparts (so they can receive pay between assignments).

This was designed to ensure security of income for agency workers.

But there is evidence of this being abused by some agencies who are employing workers on long term, low paid contracts and using a legal loophole so that:

  • no payments between assignments are needed
  • the agency workers do not have the benefit of equal pay as described above.

This is known as the Swedish Derogation. It is being abolished by the Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019. 

Extending The Rights Of Employees To Workers – Employment Particulars

The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 will extend some employee rights to workers currently not treated by the law as employees.

Currently workers and employees have differing entitlements under the law.

The amendments will give workers the right to a written statement of initial employment particulars (as currently afforded to employees under the Employment Rights Act 1996).

Extending The Rights Of Employees To Workers – Financial Penalties

Employment tribunals will be able to impose tougher financial penalties on employers who breach workers’ rights in an aggravated manner.

This amends the current provisions found in section 12A of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996.

Are you an employer? Find out more here about how to comply with employment law and avoid being taken to an employment tribunal. 

Giving Employees A Greater Voice

Currently the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 require that 10 per cent of employees can request an employer to negotiate an information and consultation agreement.

These information and consultation agreements are designed to give employees more information about what is happening where they work and how it will affect them.

Now the 10 per cent threshold outlined above will be reduced to only two per cent (except where fewer than 15 employees would be required request it).

Are you an employee? Learn more here about your employment rights.

When Will The Changes Come Into Force?

Increased financial penalties in employment tribunals will take effect on April 6 2019. All the other provisions will come into force on April 6 2020. 

Find Out More

Contact our employment solicitors to learn how the legal changes set out in the Good Work Plan will affect you. 

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.