Employment Rights & Worker Status Changes: A Simple Guide for Employers
The Government has set out the reforms it is planning to introduce as part of the Good Work Plan in response to the Taylor Review (full title: Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, 2017) and these will come into effect in 2020. With 12 months to go until April 2020, when the majority of employment rights measures are expected to take effect, we take a look at the forthcoming changes.
1. Employment Rights – Statement of Particulars
The right to a basic statement of particulars will be extended to workers. At the moment only employees are entitled to receive one. The right to receive a statement of particulars will also become a day-one of employment right for both employees and workers. At the moment, employers have 2 months in which to provide the statement of particulars.
Additional details such as details of any paid leave (e.g. maternity, paternity, etc.), duration and conditions of any probation periods and employee benefits will also need to be included in the basic contract for both employees and workers.
2. Break in continuity of service
The gap to break continuity of service will be 4 weeks as opposed to a gap of 1 week that is currently in place. In practice, this will mean that the employees who work on a casual basis will be more likely to qualify for extra employment rights.
3. Right to request a more stable contract
The new right will mean that a casual worker or employee will be able to request a more stable contract after 26 weeks of service. The worker or employee may request a contract with a minimum guaranteed number of hours or maybe fixed days. It is not currently clear how the employer is expected to address this but it is likely that the procedure will follow that of a flexible working request where the employer is expected to genuinely consider any request and the employer will have 3 months in which to do it in, same as current flexible working rules.
4. Holiday pay reference period
The holiday pay calculation reference period will be extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks for irregular hour / casual or variable hour workers and employees. This will mean that those who work irregular hours or are on casual contracts will receive holiday pay more reflective of the hours they work including any overtime worked.
5. Agency workers
Companies who use agencies and engage agency workers will need to provide the agency workers with a document called “Key Facts Page”. This document will need to include details such as type of contract, rate of pay, details of any deductions that may be taken out of their pay, method of payment, if the agency worker is paid through an intermediary and an estimate or example of what their take-home pay will be after deductions. At the moment, there is no guidance on the format of the document however the government is working on providing one. It will be the responsibility of the hirer to ensure this document is provided.
6. Deductions from staff tips
The government has committed to legislating a ban on employers from making deductions from staff tips and all staff would need to receive all tips they earn. At the moment, no further guidance is available on this however it is important for employers to be mindful of the future proposals now to allow them to plan any practices that they will put in place to ensure distribution of tips to those staff who receive them.
7. Naming and shaming
Employers who do not pay the tribunal awards will face being publicly named and shamed as well as potentially facing enforcement procedures where a penalty notice can be issued of up to 50% of the award.
Need your specific employment rights questions answered? Contact our team of HR Consultants today so that we can guide you through the correct process to take.