Good Work Plan – major reforms to workplace rights
17 December 2018
The Prime Minister has committed that we will not only maintain workers’ rights as the UK leaves the EU but enhance them and the Good Work Plan published today demonstrates how the Government will continue to do this.
Further to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices (published July 2018), the government responded to the review (February 2018), accepting the vast majority of the 53 recommendations. Four consultations were then launched to seek views on the detail of implementing the recommendations, covering:
The Good Work Plan draws on the feedback from these consultations and sets out the government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market and how it will implement the recommendations arising from the Taylor Review. This forms a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK.
The Good Work Plan includes the commitment to:
- Extend the time required to break a period of continuous service to make it easier for employees to access their rights
- Ban the use of Swedish derogation - the legal loophole which enables some firms to pay agency workers less than permanent staff
- Legislate to ban employers from making deductions from staff tips
- Extending the right to a day one written statement of rights to workers, going further to include detail on rights such as eligibility for sick leave and pay and details of other types of paid leave, such as maternity and paternity leave
- Extend the holiday pay reference period from 12 to 52 weeks, ensuring those in seasonal or atypical roles get the paid time off they are entitled to
- Bring forward detailed proposals on how the employment status frameworks for the purposes of employment rights and tax could be aligned align to ensure that the differences between the two systems are reduced to an absolute minimum
- Quadruple maximum employment tribunal fines for employers who are demonstrated to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight from £5,000 to £20,000
- Legislate to reduce the thresholds of support for information and consultation rights (from 10% to 2%) so more people can benefit from them
- Set out the specific information that agency workers must be given to help them make informed choices about the work they accept
- Increase state enforcement protections for agency workers where they have pay withheld or unclear deductions made by an umbrella company
- Bring forward proposals in early 2019 for a new, single labour market enforcement agency to better ensure that vulnerable workers are more aware of their rights and have easier access to them and that businesses are supported to comply.
The Policy team will be publishing individual news items over the coming week covering the details of a large number of reforms announced today.