Impact Assessment for addressing one-sided flexibility

02 August 2019

Initially highlighted by Matthew Taylor in the Review of Modern Working Practices, the term ‘one-sided flexibility’ is being used to reflect the way that some employers are transferring risk to their workers who are employed in atypical situations.


The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has previously disregarded the recommendation of a premium rate of pay being payable where short notice is given by the employer for workers to attend shifts, however they were satisfied that situations did exist where shifts being cancelled at short notice and this should be addressed through Government intervention to address  the imbalance of power amongst egregious employers and vulnerable workers.


BEIS recently published GWP: Consultation on measures to address one-sided flexibility that seeks views on the recommendations made by the LPC and the Impact Assessment provides costings using a low, high or best estimate of costs which will very much depend upon what is deemed to be a reasonable period of notice. Following informal consultation BEIS has assumed benchmark notice periods of 24 hours, 72 hours or 7 days.


These proposals are likely to change following full public consultation, at which time a final Impact Assessment will be published.


The consultation focuses on three main proposals – indeed four if you were to include the unlikely option of ‘do nothing’.


Option 1 – right to reasonable notice of work schedules

Option 2 – Compensation for shifts cancelled at short notice

Option 3 – Non – statutory guidance on one-sided flexibility


Picking up on the compensation suggestions (if compensation payments were introduced) put forward by LPC the consultation asks for views on the three suggestions, which include:


• The value of the shift in question

• The worker’s appropriate NMW rate multiplied by their scheduled number of hours

• A multiple of the worker’s appropriate NMW rate


The question also asks for other suggested amounts, together with reasons for this suggestion.