The government has today announced proposed changes to workers’ rights, claiming that ‘the UK will become one of the first countries to address the challenges of the changing world of work in the modern economy’.
The fine detail as to how the provisions, known as the ‘Good Work Plan’ (which has been published in response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices) will be implemented has yet to be set out. However, proposals include:
- Enforcing holiday and sick pay rights for ‘vulnerable workers’;
- Provision of ‘day one’ rights including holiday and sick pay rights;
- The right of all workers to receive a payslip, including casual and zero-hours workers;
- The right of all workers to request a ‘more stable’ contract (although there is, as yet, no information as to what this will mean), with the aim that workers will have more financial security;
- Ensuring that unpaid interns are not doing a worker’s role (for which they should be paid);
- ‘Naming and shaming’ employers who do not pay Employment Tribunal awards made against them;
- Increasing potential financial penalties for employers who have been found by the employment tribunal to have infringed employees' rights, where the employer has shown ‘malice, spite or gross oversight’ from £5,000 to £20,000;
Although today’s announcement does not address issues around worker status, the government has also announced that it will be commencing consultation around making it more straightforward to identify employment status – specifically whether someone is classed as an employee, a worker, or self-employed.
There will also be consultation on the rights and payment of agency workers and ‘increased transparency’ in business.
The Government's press release can be accessed here.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues further, or you require any other support on employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on 0141 331 5150.