The Good Work Plan is one of those pieces of legislation that has been lost in the noise of elections and the ongoing Brexit debate, but it does have a lot of potential changes that will impact nearly all employers to some extent or another.
What is the Good Work Plan
The GWP is the response by the Government to the recommendations laid out in the Taylor Review in to the state of employment in the UK. Fundamentally the review and the GWP aim to redress some of the imbalances that have crept in to the employment relationship over 4the past few years as the nature and shape of employment has evolved.
What are the main areas that could effect your business?
Give all workers the right to more stable contracts – the focus here is to give those with contracts which frequently vary in terms of hours worked or are on zero hour contracts, the right to request more stable contracts after 26 weeks of employment – this could include more predictable or guaranteed minimum hours each week.
Breaks in service increased to 4 weeks – at the moment a break in service of 1 week can mean an employee loses any rights to continuous employment. The proposed change is to increase this to 4 weeks, so employees who work on and off for the same employer can start to accrue basic employment rights.
Tips and Gratuities – under the GWP employers will need to ensure and demonstrate that they are being passed directly to the employees and not being held back by the employer.
Statement of basic terms – will become a day one right, so employees from day one of employment should receive a copy of their written statement of terms and conditions ion employment – at present this needs to be done within 8 weeks, and is intended to clarify the main terms of the employment relationship for those that may work on shorter contracts or where there may be a lack of certainty as to what employees are entitled to at the start of their new role.
Calculating holiday pay – where employees work irregular hours or an employees pay changes due to over time etc, traditionally employers have calculated holiday pay over the previous 12 weeks of employment. Under the GWP this will change to 52 weeks, which will have an impact on those employees who work in very seasonal roles with peaks in hours worked now more likely to be included in calculations.
Other changes in the plan relate to greater protection for agency workers, removing Swedish Derogation and the introduction of Key Terms; changes to information and consultation regulations suggesting that only 2% of a workforce may be needed to request inclusion in consultation about changes that affect the workplace; greater clarity on employment status tests to remove grey areas between those that are self employed, employed and workers; naming and shaming employers who do not pay tribunal awards and the State enforcement of holiday pay through a separate body so employees who have not received their holiday pay can make simpler claims from their employer.