Workers to be Given Right to Request Predictable Terms and Conditions

Louise Walker
Louise Walker
Legal Director
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We reported earlier in 2023 that the Government was proposing to introduce legislation aiming to deliver greater predictability for workers. We can now confirm that the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill has received Royal Assent, becoming the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023. The Act, giving workers the right to request predictable terms and conditions, is expected to come into force in September 2024, to give employers time to prepare for the changes.

With the aim of remedying the imbalance of power between some employers and atypical workers in the UK, the Act will give workers and agency workers the statutory right to request a predictable working pattern where:

  • There is a lack of predictability in relation to their working pattern (this is automatically assumed in cases of fixed term contracts of 12 months or less);
  • The change relates to their work pattern; and/or
  • Their purpose for applying for the change is to get a more predictable work pattern.

An individual making such a request will require to detail the change requested and the date they wish it to take effect. The employer will be required to deal with, and make a decision upon, the application in a reasonable manner, within one month from the date of the application. The employer will only be able to reject the application where they consider that one or more of the statutory grounds outlined in the Act apply, which are similar to those under which a flexible working request can be refused.

Workers shall be entitled to make a maximum of two applications within any 12-month period and it is expected that they will need to have 26 weeks’ aggregate service to apply. Workers will be protected from suffering any detriment as a result of making an application. If a request is granted, the newly approved terms and conditions must be offered to the employee within two weeks of the date the request is granted.

ACAS have been asked to prepare a new statutory Code of Practice to assist employers and workers in understanding the new provisions and to provide guidance on making and handling “predictable working requests”.  A draft Code of Practice is expected to available for consultation in Autumn 2023.

If you would like to discuss the implications of the new right to request predictable terms and conditions, or if we can support you on any other employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.

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