23rd August 2019


 Issue No.  2019/14




A raft of changes are on the horizon in respect of employment rights IF the current government remain in control beyond the end of October 2019.  Your guess is as good as ours!
In October 2016 the government commissioned an Independent Review of Employment Practices by Matthew Taylor which came up with a raft of recommendations in December 2018 (The Good Work Plan) which the Government have recently committed to.  The idea is that this plan will strengthen UK employment rights so employers will need to prepare for this change which is expected to come into force in April 2020.
The plan focuses improving communication and certainty in the working relationship.  The proposal is that the written statement of employment must include information about employees’ rights.
Assuming this comes into force, it means, the Written Statement or Principle Statement will need to include the following:

  • the business’s (employer’s) name;
  • the employee’s name, job title or a description of work and start date;
  • if a previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment, the date the period started;
  • how long a temporary job is expected to last;
  • the end date of a fixed-term contract;
  • collective agreements;
  • where an employee will be working and whether they might have to relocate;
  • if an employee works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is;
  • how much and how often an employee will get paid (All remuneration (not just pay) – contributions in cash or kind e.g. vouchers or lunch etc.);
  • hours of work including specific days and times workers are required to work (and if employees will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime);
  • holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays);
  • Details of other types of paid leave e.g. maternity leave and paternity leave.
  • notice periods;
  • Details of eligibility for sick leave and pay;
  • The duration and conditions of any probationary period;
  • Pensions;
  • who to go to with a grievance;
  • how to complain about how a grievance is handled;
  • how to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision.

Significantly, the written statements will have to be provided to workers and not just employees and these must be issued on day one of employment.
Employee flexibility
The Good work Plan also seeks to offer more flexibility for employees and workers and provides for:

  • Employees having the right to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks of employment.
  • Extending the break in continuous service from one week to four weeks to help employees who work irregular hours to qualify for more employment rights that require a particular length of service.
  • Protecting agency workers – Agency workers are entitled to the same level of pay as a permanent worker after 12 weeks service unless the agency worker opts out of this right and elects to receive a guaranteed level of pay between their temporary assignments (Swedish Derogation). This opt out will be removed from April 2020
  • The reference period used to calculate holiday pay will be extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

Early May Bank Holiday 2020
The Government has confirmed that the Early May Bank Holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4th May to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE day.
You will need to check your employment contracts to see how you refer to bank/statutory Holidays.  If you shift the day but you need some of your employees to work on Friday 8th May, you must consult with them to inform them this will be a normal working day.   They would usually get an alternative day off.  Of course you may decide to leave the bank holiday alone and stick with Monday 4th
 May as the holiday!





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