Last edited 30 Jan 2021

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ECA Institute / association Website

Good Work Plan promises clearer contracts, fairer rules

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[edit] Introduction

Flexibility has been credited as a significant factor in the success of the UK labour market and the rise in employment in recent years. There has, however, been some concern regarding imbalance and with the flexibility being one-sided. As a result, the government set up an independent review led by Matthew Taylor. The review resulted in the publication of the Good Work Report (aka Taylor Report) which put forward proposals to redress this balance between employers and employees/workers in the law and employment practice.

Following consultation, the government published a raft of proposals in December 2018 for taking forward the majority of the Taylor Report’s recommendations in its ‘Good Work Plan’. The main proposals under the government’s Good Work Plan are:

[edit] Continuity of employment

  • Extend the current period of a week to break continuity of employment to four weeks.

[edit] Contracts of employment and written statement of particulars of employment

  • Right of all workers to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks of service.
  • Extend the current right to a written statement of particulars of employment for employees to workers.
  • Reduce the period in which a written statement of particulars of employment can be provided, from two months to day one of employment/work.
  • Expand the information to be provided within a written statement of particulars of employment for both employees and workers.

[edit] Employment status

[edit] Agency workers

[edit] Employment tribunals

  • Simplify the process for employment tribunal claims.
  • Substantial increases in the penalty for aggravating conduct.
  • Require employment tribunals to consider the use of sanctions where employers have lost a previous case on broadly comparable facts.
  • Improve the information and guidance on the enforcement of tribunal decisions.
  • ‘Name and shame’ employers who do not pay tribunal awards made against them.

[edit] Holiday entitlement

  • Extend the holiday pay reference period for those whose pay varies with the work done from 12 to 52 weeks.
  • Launch a campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the paid entitlement to annual leave.
  • State enforcement of vulnerable workers’ holiday pay rights.
  • Explore the option for a new holiday pay calculator.

[edit] Miscellaneous

While there are a number of changes proposed by the Government as summarised above, there is some concern that the proposals do not do much to redress the balance between the most vulnerable workers, such as those on zero-hour contracts and agency workers and employers. More responsible employers will therefore continue to be at a disadvantage to their less scrupulous competitors. The proposals do, however, indicate the possibility of greater clarity on employment status which is of particular interest to most ECA members.

[edit] About this article

This article was written by Sneha Doshi, senior employee relations advisor at the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA). It first appeared on the ECA website on March 22, 2019 and can be accessed here.

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