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Written by Brabners LLP
On 17 December 2018, the government released its Good Work Plan (“the Plan”). The Plan is set to provide workers with more employment law rights and has been dubbed by the government as “the biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years”!
The Plan comes as a response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices (the “Taylor Review”) which was published on 11 July 2017. This included a long list of recommendations to improve working life and employment rights. It focused on those seen as vulnerable workers such as agency workers, casual workers and zero-hours workers in the growing “gig economy”.
While any improvements to employment rights may be considered beneficial, some have criticised the limited impact of the Plan. For example, some people are not happy that the Plan fails to ban zero-hours contracts and fails to explain how its proposals will be achieved in places. For further information about what the Plan does cover, read on!
The Plan is broken down into three main themes: fair and decent work; clarity for employers and workers; and fairer enforcement. Key changes include:
Following the release of the Plan, the government has also released draft legislation. The changes will be introduced in April 2019 and April 2020 if the draft legislation is approved by the Houses of Parliament.
Greg Clark, Business Secretary, claims that the Plan is the “largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation”. Others, however, have been more sceptical. Francis O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, may have welcomed the repeal of the Swedish Derogation but she has warned that the “reforms as a whole won’t shift the balance of power in the gig economy. Unless unions get the right to organise and bargain for workers in places like Uber and Amazon, too many working people will continue to be treated like disposable labour”.
Whilst benefitting workers, the changes will no doubt raise a number of concerns for recruiters and employers. For example, the removal of the Swedish Derogation is likely to lead to many employers having to re-visit client terms and pay rates which will require careful consideration. Other legal issues raised as a result of the Plan include changes to worker’s terms and conditions and employment processes.
If advice is needed on dealing with the proposed changes, please contact Paul Chamberlain and / or Emma James at Brabners who can be contacted on email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org respectively.
This bulletin is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. Brabners is a Limited Liability Partnership.