‘…the biggest shake-up of employment law in a generation.’
The government is currently rolling out an extensive programme of employment law reforms known as the Good Work Plan. These are a response to the challenges caused by the huge growth in the use of casual working and self-employed arrangements.
Flexibility is still recognised as being key for businesses, and so the aim of these reforms is not to restrict this. Rather, they aim to make it easier for individuals to understand and enforce their rights and give much greater clarity on the terms of engagement.
Ahead of the changes due to come into effect on April 6 2020, our new partners, Citation, recently carried out research on the Good Work Plan. Despite this fast-approaching date, they found that one-third of employers are still unaware of the Good Work Plan, some are incorrectly calculating holiday pay, and many are not prepared for the changes.
Every business in the UK will be affected by the changes. However, due to the number of contractors and self-employed individuals used by businesses, they’re particularly relevant for CPA members.
Defining employment status
Correctly identifying the employment status of those who work for your business is the key issue at the heart of these reforms, as this governs employment rights.
The government has conceded that this is an area of unacceptable uncertainty and has promised legislation to clarify this (though there is no sign of this on the horizon).
CPA members may find that individuals who start working for them on a casual basis (e.g. contractors or similar) may, through regular use, have become integrated with the business to such an extent that they would be classed as employees or workers, entitling them to additional rights.
So what do Construction Products Association members need to know?
A key focus area of the Good Work Plan is seeking to address rights for workers without fixed hours and those working without employee status.
By introducing state enforcement of these rights for ‘vulnerable workers’ (yet to be defined), the reforms seek to improve the enforcement of employment rights (especially holiday entitlement and pay). Following a series of court decisions on commission payments and overtime, holiday pay calculations (specifically what should be included) have changed in recent years.
The Good Work Plan also seeks to improve clarity in terms of workers who have a more casual relationship with the business, as well as employees. It will extend the right to a statutory statement of main terms to all workers, requiring this to be made available by the first day of work, as well as introducing a list of additional information which must be provided.
Notably, the reforms will allow some workers the right to request a stable contract. Recognising that some workers are happy to work varied hours each week, this will not be mandatory, but those would like more certainty will be able to request a fixed working pattern from their employer.
Though there is currently not implementation date for this, this change was a prominent feature in the new Employment Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.
Given the complexity of the topic, managers and employers wanting to know more should download the white paper produced by Citation. It clarifies all the significant changes and what they mean for both employers and employees.
Got any questions?
Call Citation’s friendly experts on 0345 844 1111 to ask any questions you have about The Good Work Plan, or get in touch here – just mention you’re enquiring through CPA.
You can also visit citation.co.uk/good-work-plan for guidance on The Good Work Plan and how it will affect your business.
Your CPA member benefit – Citation’s HR & Employment Law support
With complex legislation change on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to consider getting the complete backing of HR experts.
CPA members are also entitled to preferential rates on Citation’s HR offering, including:
- Dedicated local consultant
- 24-hour expert advice line
- Full legal documentation, including staff handbooks and contracts of employment
- Access to Atlas, your one-stop-shop HR management tool
Please get in touch by calling 0345 844 1111, or by leaving your details here – just mention you’re enquiring through the CPA to claim your discount.
Blog by Gillian McAteer – the Head of Employment Law of HR & Employment Law experts, Citation. Qualifying as a solicitor in 1992, Gill has been with Citation since 2003. Her extensive commercial experience has equipped her with invaluable insights into clients’ pain points and enables her to guide businesses to the right solution in any given situation.
By Gillian McAteer at 22 Jan 2020, 13:55 PM