The latest implementation of the Taylor review was issued on 17 December 2018, when the UK government released the “Good Work Plan,” which sets out its vision for the future of the UK labour market.
It proposes legislative changes “to ensure that workers can access fair and decent work, that both employers and workers have the clarity they need to understand their employment relationships, and that the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose”. The government labelled it as “the biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years.”
Although largely not of direct relevance to the way interim practitioners work, clearly there is the potential for indirect impact. Much depends upon the final shape of the regulations, which may, or may not, pay much heed to the substantial public consultation feedback received. This includes 4 separate consultations over a 17 month period.
Key changes include:
- Legislation to improve the clarity of the employment status tests, with proposals on how to align the employment and tax tests (which currently differ)
- A right for workers to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks’ service on a non-fixed pattern.
Protections For Agency Workers
- The repeal of the Swedish derogation from April 2020, which allows employers to pay agency workers less than permanent workers if they have an employment contract with the agency that gives them the right to pay between assignments
- A new power to impose penalties on employers who breach employment agency legislation
- Every agency worker to receive a “key facts” page, providing basic information about their contract, pay rates and pay arrangements.
General Employment Rights From April 2020
- An extended right for all workers (not just employees) to be provided with a statement of rights on day one (rather than within two months) setting out key terms of their contract
- An increase in the period required to break continuity of employment from 1 week to 4 weeks, giving atypical workers better access to key rights
- A ban on employers making deductions from staff tips
- An extension of the holiday reference period for holiday pay from 12 to 52 weeks
- Lowering the threshold for a request to set up information and consultation arrangements from 10% to 2% (retaining the 15-employee minimum).
- Introducing a “name and shame” scheme for employers who fail to pay Employment Tribunal awards, similar to the scheme for national minimum wage underpayment
- An increase in the maximum penalty from £5,000 to £20,000 for “aggravated” breaches of employment rights with effect from 6 April 2020
- A single labour market enforcement agency to ensure workers’ rights are properly enforced
The plan does address the Taylor Report issues and recommendations raised but the detail required to understand truly the government’s approach and how this may impact in detail, is still to be added.
We wait with bated breath….