What All Employers Should Know About the Forthcoming Good Work Plan Changes

By Kimberley Wallace, Senior HR Consultant
[email protected] | 0333 400 7920

The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices sought to review modern approaches to employment, focusing on agency and temporary worker rights in the ever-growing gig economy. Following this, the Government published its recommendations in The Good Work Plan and has since introduced:

  • Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019
  • The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
  • Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019

Other recommendations from The Good Work Plan are still being consulted upon so we won’t see movement on all the Government’s proposals and recommendations just yet. Below we provide a summary of what changes are going ahead and will be being introduced over the next few months. We recommend that all employers make themselves aware of these forthcoming changes and seek advice where required:

1. Contracts must be issued on day one of employment

Currently employers have up to two months to issue new employees who work longer that a month with a statement of ‘written particulars’ – which is the basic terms and conditions of that employee’s employment. From 6th April 2020, new legislation comes into effect whereby employers will now have to issue their contracts / statement of written particulars from day one. The right to receive a written statement of particulars has been extended to cover workers as well as employees. Contracts now also have to include additional information including: the days of work, if hours are variable, benefits provide, training provided and probationary details.

This means that employers should review their onboarding process for new starters of any type (employee, worker, etc.). It should be ensured that all types of contracts are issued by absolutely no later than day one. Employers should also take this opportunity to review their contract templates to ensure it includes the required information.

2. Average week’s pay calculations

The reference period used to calculate holiday pay for workers who receive variable pay is changing. Currently the reference period is 12 weeks. From 6th April 2020, the reference period will be changed to 52 weeks (or the total number of weeks of employment is the worker has been employed for less than 52 weeks).

Employers should ensure their managers and payroll departments are aware of this change so workers’ pay can be calculated correctly. If workers are provided via an agency, employers should check with the agencies to ensure they are compliant with this new legislation.

3. Increased protection for agency workers

Agency workers are currently entitled to the same pay rates as permanent employees after 12 weeks, unless they work under contractual arrangements where they receive minimum level of pay between assignments. From 6th April 2020, this distinction will be abolished and the right to comparable pay applies to all agency workers after 12 weeks.

Employers should review agreements with any recruitment agencies being used to supply their workers to ensure the agencies are complying with this new legislation in April 2020.

4. Extension of right to a payslip for workers

This came into force back in April 2019, but is worth us reminding employers of one of the first changes under The Good Work Plan. Since April 2019, employers have been required to provide a payslip including the breakdown of hours worked by workers.

The other proposals still being consulted on or finalised as part of the Good Work Plan include:

  • Right to request a stable contract
  • Increasing the ‘break of service’ period
  • Creation of a new employment enforcement body
  • Banning companies from deducting from tips.