The Good Work Plan: Are you ready?

Are you in a position to give new employees a written statement of terms on their first day of work?

If not, you could fall foul of proposed legislation set to be implemented on 6 April 2020.

Dubbed “the largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation” by The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, the Good Work Plan is set to shake up current employment law in several significant ways.

“The key point to note is that the days when employers had up to two months to provide workers with a written statement of terms could soon be over,” said Ellen Parkin MCIPD, Managing Director of Spire HR.

“You will need your paperwork in place as of day one. If you’re an SME without an in-house HR function, or an organisation that employs large numbers of casual workers, it makes sense to address that problem now. Spire HR, with its team of experienced specialists, are on hand to help you get the systems and processes in place which will futureproof your business before this new legislation comes into full effect.”

Other Good Work Plan changes to be mindful of include:

  • Employers can no longer pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances (i.e. the Swedish Derogation clauses that used to facilitate this will be abolished, with the target date set for 6 April 2020)
  • The enactment of legislation to clarify the current employment status test – i.e. whether an individual is an employee, a worker or self-employed. (The tests for both employment and tax purposes will be harmonised as part of this process)
  • Workers who have completed 26 weeks on a non-fixed pattern will have the right to request a fixed working pattern
  • Continuity of employment will survive a break of four weeks between contracts (currently, it survives only one week)
  • The reference period of calculating a week’s pay for holiday pay purposes will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks
  • Employers will be banned from making deductions from staff tips

“To those who are thinking April 2020 is a long way away, it’s really not. It’s also important to note that the penalty for ‘aggravating conduct’ during dismissals could be increased from £5,000 to £20,000 as early as 6 April this year – a date the Government is actively targeting,” added Ellen.

“It’s another reason to take swift and positive action to safeguard your business against potential compliance issues with the help of Spire. Let’s do the groundwork now that will put you in good stead to enjoy a smooth transition once the Good Work Plan’s proposals become a reality.”

Some employers may only need to make a few small adjustments to their HR function in order to ensure full compliance with the suggested changes, but those who engage agency workers on Swedish Derogation terms, or casual staff on a zero hours or self-employed basis, will need to think about any likely implications on their business.

Ellen concludes: “The Good Work Plan sets out a blueprint for fair and decent working conditions for all employees, regardless of their tenure at a company. Spire can help you to get on board with these highly significant changes to workers’ rights, while continuing to meet the operational demands of your business.”

Useful Resources

To start a Good Work Plan conversation today, telephone Spire HR on 01925 626523 or email info@spirehr.co.uk

Read the Good Work Plan, which was presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy by Command of Her Majesty in December 2018.