21 Feb 2020
The government’s Good Work Plan will introduce a number of legislative changes. These are meant to increase transparency and strengthen rights of workers in ‘insecure employment’
Some businesses may think these changes won’t apply to them. But it’s crucial that you don’t get complacent here. The Good Work Plan represents a significant change to employment law that will affect all businesses.
Some implementation dates are yet to be confirmed. But below are the changes employers need to be ready for by April.
3 Good Work Plan changes
1. Written contracts of employment
The plan introduces several changes to the right to receive a written statement of main terms (SMT) with effect from 6 April 2020. This document lists all the employee’s key terms of employment, including pay and annual leave entitlements. The grace period of two months will be removed. This means the SMT will have to be given to the employee from day one of their employment.
In addition, more details will have to be included in the SMT, as follows:
- the terms and conditions relating to work will extend to cover terms relating to normal hours of work. This includes the days of the week the worker will be required to work and whether these days/hours may vary
- terms relating to other forms of paid leave such as family-friendly leave
- details of other employee benefits, not just those relating to pay, such as benefits in kind or financial benefits
- terms relating to probationary periods including those in relation to length and conditions
- details of training provision and requirements.
Significantly, employers will have to provide an SMT to their ‘workers’, as well as their employees. Currently, only employees are entitled to receive this document. But zero hours workers and casual workers will also be brought within scope.
2. Holiday pay
The mandatory reference period for calculating holiday pay will increase under the plan. From 6 April 2020, employers will have to use a reference period of 52 weeks when calculating holiday pay for staff who work irregular hours. This calculation method will balance out any peaks and troughs of working hours throughout the year.
3. Agency workers
'Swedish derogation model' contracts for agency workers will be banned from 6 April 2020. These contracts currently offer a legal loophole. This loophole allows employers to avoid the requirement to pay agency workers the same basic pay as direct recruits after 12 weeks on assignment. Those already on these contracts will be entitled to a statement to explain the effect of the ban on their pay. This’ll need to be distributed no later than 30 April 2020.
From 6 April 2020 agency workers will also be entitled to a key facts sheet before they agree to the terms by which they will undertake work. The information required includes the expected minimum rate of pay, any expected deductions from pay and the type of contract the worker will be engaged under.
Good Work Plan guidance
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