Monday, 17 December 2018

Government Announces Changes to Workers Rights in the UK - What Every Business and Employee Needs to Know

New legislation to upgrade workers’ rights was introduced today, affecting businesses and employees across both traditional and gig economies.
  • ensuring tips left for workers go to them in full.
  • ensuring workers are paid fairly by providing agency workers with a key facts page when they start work, including a clear breakdown of who pays them, and any costs or charges deducted from their wages.
  • enforcing vulnerable workers’ holiday pay for the first time.
  • introducing a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip for all workers, including casual and zero-hour workers.
  • introducing a right for all workers, not just zero-hour and agency, to request a more predictable and stable contract, providing more financial security for those on flexible contract.
  • GLAA licensing standards will be revised to ensure that they reflect current worker rights and employer obligations
  • a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards·will be introduced, taking further action to ensure unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker.
The legislation was informed by two key documents, the Matthew Taylor Review into Modern Working Practices and Sir David Metcalf's Labour Market Strategy.

51 of the 53 recommendations made by Matthew Taylor have been adopted including:
  • closing a loophole by repealing the Swedish derogation – which currently allows agency workers to be employed on cheaper rates than permanent counterparts.
  • extending the right to a day one written statement of rights to all workers, including details on rights such as eligibility for sick leave and pay and details of other types of paid leave, such as maternity and paternity leave.
  • quadrupling maximum employment tribunal fines for employers who are demonstrated to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight from £5,000 to £20,000.
  • extending the holiday pay reference period from 12 to 52 weeks, ensuring those in seasonal or atypical roles get the paid time off they are entitled to.
  • lowering the threshold required for a request to set up Information and Consultation arrangements from 10% to 2%.
The following measures will be introduced to tackle the exploitation of low paid workers:
  • measures will be brought forward in early 2019 for a single enforcement body to ensure vulnerable workers are better protected.
  • more resource will be made available for the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate.
  • Penalties will be introduced for employers who breach employment agency legislation like non-payment of wages.
  • There will be a consultation on Salaried Hours Work and Salary Sacrifice Schemes to ensure National Minimum Wage rules do not inadvertently penalise employer.
  • Legislation will be introduced to enforce holiday pay for vulnerable workers.
  • There will be a consultation on the recommendations made in relation to non-compliance in supply chains.
The measures outlined in the package form part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, published last year, which sets out how the whole of the UK can build on its strengths, extend them into the future, and capitalise on new opportunities.

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