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Employment Update – January 2019

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The Good Work Plan

The Government have published The Good Work Plan, which details their proposals to improve a number of aspects of UK employment law. The Plan was an expansion of the government’s response to the Taylor review into modern working practise which they published earlier this year. The Taylor Review made a number of key recommendations including, amongst others, that everyone should enjoy a baseline level of protection and be given routes to enable progression at work, and that there should be a clear distinction between dependent contractors and those who are actually self-employed.

Following the publication of the Good Work Plan, the government have announced the first pieces of legislation to implement some of the changes to UK employment law that they proposed in the Good Work Plan.

The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 provides that the written statement of particulars must be given from the first day of employment. Currently the law provides that an employer must provide the written particulars within two months of the employees’ employment commencing. It also increases the reference period from 12 weeks to 52 weeks when calculating a week’s pay for holiday purposes. This comes into force on the 6 April 2020.

The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2018 abolishes the Swedish Derogation which gives employers the ability to pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances.  This also comes into force on 6 April 2020.

The final piece of legislation the government has announced is The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019. This extends the right to a written statement of particulars to workers and increases the penalty for aggravated breaches of employment law from £5,000 to £20,000.

The Good Work Plan also proposed a number of other changes for which legislation has not yet been announced. These include;

  • Changing the rules on continuity of employment. Currently there is a break in continuity after a one-week break, the government propose to increase this to allow for a four week break before the continuity breaks.
  • To streamline the employment status tests so that they are the same for employment and tax purposes.
  • When determining employment status, the government suggests the test should focus more on the amount of control that is exercised over the individual rather than on their right to send a substitute.
  • The right for workers on zero-hour contracts to request the right to a fixed working pattern after 26 weeks on a non-fixed pattern.

At FTA Law we can offer advice on all aspects of an employer’s duties towards their employees, so please contact us on 0330 088 2275 for further information.

The team at FTA Law provides advice to clients across the commercial and healthcare sectors with many of our instructions coming from referrals from long standing clients and industry contacts.

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