The Good Work Plan has been billed as the ‘biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years’ and if all the planned changes are made there could be significant changes impacting on your business including:

From April 2020:

Statement of written terms

Written statements of terms will need to be given on or before the first day of employment or engagement to employees and workers.  Statements of terms must also include:

  • Whether there is a probationary period
  • More detail around hours and days of work and whether these are variable
  • Details of paid leave (in addition to holidays)
  • Any training entitlement

Swedish derogation to become unlawful

Swedish derogation contracts (also known as ‘pay between assignments’ contracts) for agency workers will become unlawful.  Impacted employers will need to assess the cost implications and find ways to mitigate.

Change to holiday pay reference periods

The reference period for determining a week’s pay for the purpose of calculating holiday pay will increase from 12 to 52 weeks, this could increase costs for employers of casual workers and staff on variable hours.

Then in the future:

The right to request a more predictable and stable contract

The intention is that workers with 26 weeks’ service or more will be able to ask for greater certainty in terms of the hours they work. It will be a right of request to be considered by the employer, with no guarantee that it will be granted. The presumption is that it will work in the same way as flexible working requests.

The time required to break a period of continuous service may increase from one week to four

For those who engage seasonal or casual workers, this change will be one to key an eye on, in theory it will mean workers can gain access to employment law rights more easily.

Banning employers from making deductions from staff tips

For those in affected industries it will be worth checking contracts and policies are reflective if the change occurs.

Further changes to holiday pay

In addition, the government intends to:

  • Raise awareness of rights and aid in the understanding of holiday pay
  • Introduce new guidance to interpret the often complex holiday pay rules
  • Introduce an online holiday pay calculator

Reintroduction of employment tribunal fees

Although there is no commitment in the Good Work Plan to bring fees back, there is a possibility that some level of fee will be introduced.

The original Supreme Court ruling focused, in part, on the fees being at such a level that it would stop justice being sought, therefore any future fee structure is likely to be less and may not exist in some areas. Although only a guess at this stage, expect them to look at claims affecting maternity.

Changes to employment status

The future of employment status is an ongoing problem. Employment tribunals and the courts have soldiered on in recent years, endeavouring to keep up with the impact that the gig economy has on existing laws. The government has commissioned research to find out more about uncertain employment status and how it affects workers whilst it works towards improved clarity on employment status.

Will it happen at all?

There will definitely be some changes. However, with Brexit and a possible change in Government, it is impossible to determine which changes are guaranteed.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail please contact our HR & Employment Law Expert, David Boland, on the details below:

David Boland
Managing Director
Direct Dial: 01942 292520
Mobile: 07786 376714