Posted on February 2020 By Elle Elkins
The Good Work Plan is new legislation set to take effect from 6th April 2020 and will impact all businesses that employ people, use agency workers or subcontract labour. Ultimately, it will affect the vast majority of employers and the workforce of the UK - yet 59% of businesses still don’t know what it is.
What is the Good Work Plan?
The main premise of The Good Work Plan is to provide employees and workers with fair and decent work. According to Gov.UK, “for the first time the government has also taken the ground-breaking step of placing equal importance on the quality and quantity of work. Many successive governments have focused on boosting the quantity of work. This remains a key aim, but now that we have achieved record levels of employment, it is only right that we also focus attention on creating higher quality jobs. We want to lead the way internationally in offering high quality work for all. The Prime Minister has committed that we will not only maintain workers’ rights as the UK leaves the EU, but enhance them, and this Good Work Plan demonstrates how the government will continue to do this.”
How will it affect me?
There are several changes that will be made to the current law. We have listed a few of these changes that we think you may find interesting and could directly impact yourself or your business…
The Right To Request A More Stable Contract
This will mostly benefit workers on zero-hour contracts or people who are employed as a ‘casual worker’. After 26 weeks of employment, the employee will have the right to request a more predictable and stable contract.
Increased Protection for Agency Workers
Currently, agency workers are entitled to be paid the same rates as permanent employees after 12 weeks (Agency Worker Regulations- also known as AWR), unless they are working under specific contractual arrangements whereby they receive a minimum level of pay when they are between assignments – this is known as the ‘Swedish Derogation’. As of 6th April 2020, this will no longer be the case and the right to comparable pay (AWR) will apply to all agency workers after 12 weeks.
‘Key Facts Page’ for Agency Workers
Employment businesses (such as Syntech Recruitment) will need to provide every agency worker with a ‘Key Facts Page’ document outlining details such as their rate of pay, the type of contract they are employed under and any deductible fees.
Tips, Gratuities and Service Charges
Employers will no longer be able to deduct tips given to members of staff. They will either be kept in full by the employee or distributed evenly between those who work for them.
Naming and Shaming
If an employer does not pay the compensation awarded by an employment tribunal following a successful claim, they can face a penalty notice of up to 50% of the unpaid award. Not only that, there is also a naming scheme whereby companies can be publicly ‘named and shamed’ for not paying at least £200 of a tribunal award.
What should I do next?
It is important, as with any major government- led change, that businesses study the new legislation carefully. You may need to enforce changes to current contracts, policies and onboarding processes involving multiple departments. By taking the time to plan ahead, there needn’t be too much disruption or risk.
The changes, which apply to England, Scotland and Wales, are all set out in:
•The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019
•The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
The Good Work Plan will take effect from 6th April 2020. Are you ready for the new legislation?
For more information on The Good Work Plan, please click here.