Earlier today, the Government announced their plans to introduce new reforms to upgrade workers’ rights, specifically those working in the gig-economy, working as agency workers or on zero-hour contracts. The proposed reforms are to be one of the largest reforms in almost 20 years.
The main proposals within the ‘Good Work Plan’ include:
- Requiring employers to provide workers with a ‘statement of rights’ on their first day of work, including details of their entitlements to annual leave and sick pay;
- Providing workers with a right to request fixed working patterns after 26 weeks of service;
- Illegalising employers’ ability to make deductions from staff tips;
- Increasing the holiday pay reference period from 12 to 52 weeks (the pay reference period is used to calculate compliance with National Minimum Wage Regulations);
- Reforms to clarify the tests of employment status when determining if an individual is a worker or an employee;
- Changes to continuity of employment which propose to extend the break of 1 week in employment with the same employer which counts towards continuous service to 4 weeks;
- Introducing a naming scheme for employers who fail to pay Employment Tribunal awards.
The proposed package of reforms and measures set to be unveiled are intended to respond to the shifting gig economy and offer more protection for workers. In doing so, the Government intends to introduce a new single labour market enforcement body to ensure that workers’ rights and the proposed reforms are properly enforced.