There will be a suite of changes in the employment arena that will be implemented by 6 April 2020 following the release of the Good Work Plan. Our previous blog entitled “Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan” discusses the changes in terms of written particulars in section 1 statements and employment contracts. This blog focuses on the changes more generally.
The Taylor Review had emphasis on considering new ways of working given the rise of the gig economy. It looked towards ways of improving work and employment rights amongst vulnerable workers such as agency workers, casual workers and zero hours workers.
Some of the changes recommended by the Taylor Review have already been implemented, such as the right of all workers to have access to itemised payslips, which took effect from 6 April 2019. The maximum penalty for an aggravated breach of employment law was also increased from £5,000 to £20,000 at this time.
The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave ) Regulations 2018 contain changes to written particulars that will apply from 6 April 2020. They will also amend the Working Time Regulations (R 16) to increase the reference period to calculate holiday pay. Currently, this is determined with reference to the average from the previous 12 weeks, however from 6 April 2020 the average will be determined by reference to the previous 52 weeks.
Those businesses and individuals operating in the agency work arena will also see a number of changes. The Swedish Derogation will be removed from the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 following concerns raised that it was being used inappropriately by businesses to reduce labour costs. Agency workers will also be provided with key information about their engagement, prior to their agreeing to provide work. The contract type, minimum rate of pay, deductions from pay, annual leave entitlement and information about pay must all be set out for these workers.
By virtue of the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019, all workers will be entitled to a written statement of terms. This was previously limited to employees. Further, these regulations will decrease the requirement to set up information and consultation arrangements from 10% to 2% of employees, subject to the 15 employee minimum.
There are a number of changes which will be coming into effect starting in the new tax year. It would be prudent for businesses to be aware of the changes that are being introduced and to start considering which of their documents may require review. Should you require any assistance or have any questions on the upcoming changes, please contact one of the members of the employment team.