23rd April 2020
Along with the cherry blossoms, blue skies and longer days, April has also introduced some changes to employment law and other legal updates.
Here’s what you need to know about those changes that came into place as of 6th April 2020.
The Good Work Plan
Back in 2017, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts, Matthew Taylor, conducted an independent review of modern working practice which set out several recommendations to the UK government. This was called the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. In 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a paper in response to the Taylor Review which set out the ways in which the UK government plans to address the concerns and implement the recommendations made. This is known as the Good Work Plan.
The Good Work Plan identifies the government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market and how it will implement the recommendations arising from the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, which investigated issues in the labour market, including:
- The implications of new forms of work.
- The rise of digital platforms.
- Impacts of new working models.
The response published by the government in February 2018 accepted a vast majority of the 53 recommendations made by Matthew Taylor. Alongside this response, the government also launched 4 consultations to seek stakeholders views on the approach to the implementation of the following, on which the Good Work Plan draws feedback from:
- Employment status.
- Agency worker recommendations.
- Increasing transparency in the labour market.
- Enforcement of employment rights recommendations.
The changes implemented by the Good Work Plan came into effect as of 6th April 2020 and see the following changes to employment legislation.
Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay
The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 has now been passed by Royal Assent and the Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020 are now in effect.
The act gives all parents in employment the right to take 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. If eligible, parents will also be able to claim pay for this period.
Changes to Written Statements of Employment Particulars
There have been three amendments to written statements. These are as follows.
All workers employed on or after 6th April 2020 will be entitled to a written statement of employment particulars.
Employees and workers must be provided with their written statement on or before their first day of employment.
Written statements are now required to contain the following additional information:
- The hours and days of the week the worker /employee is required to work including if and how they will vary.
- Entitlement to any paid leave.
- Any other benefits that are not covered elsewhere in the written statement.
- Details of any probationary period, where applicable.
- Details of any training provided by the employer.
Changes to Agency Workers’ Rights
There have been three important amendments to agency workers’ rights. These are as follows.
Abolition of the Swedish Derogation (otherwise known as ‘pay between assignments’ contracts). Previously, agency workers could agree on a contract which would remove their right to equal pay with permanent counterparts after 12 weeks working at the same assignment. These contracts are longer be permissible and all agency workers will be entitled to the same rate of pay as their permanent counterparts after the first 12 weeks of employment.
All agency workers will be entitled to a key information document that more clearly sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency.
Agency workers who are employees will be protected from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment for reasons related to asserting rights associated with The Agency Worker Regulations.
Changes to ICE (Information and Consultation of Employees) Regulations
There is now a reduction in the percentage of employees required to make a valid request for an agreement on the sharing of information and consultation within the workplace. Previously, at least 10% of the workforce who must put in a request before an employer were obliged to take steps to comply with this right. This percentage has now been reduced to 2%.
Changes to Holiday Pay Calculations
The reference period to calculate a ‘week’s pay’ for holiday pay purposes will be extended from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.
Watch out for our next post for more information on the Good Work Plan.
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