Overhaul of Working Practices – government responds to Taylor’s Good Work Report

Louise McCosh | 30 January 2019

Overhaul of Working Practices – government responds to Taylor’s Good Work Report

The Taylor review was launched in July 2017 and made a number of recommendations in relation to modern working practices. The government has now responded to this providing greater protection for workers on flexible or zero hour contracts.

The working economy has changed substantially and with it the need to ensure that all workers are treated fairly. Matthew Taylor’s 2017 investigation into the ‘gig economy’ and those on zero-hours or flexible contracts highlighted the need for some recognition of how this kind of working impacted on workers’ rights and employers’ obligations.

In a report titled ‘Good Work’, the government has taken in 51 of 53 Taylor recommendations and pledged to provide greater protection for agency and gig economy workers. The new rules to be introduced will:

  • Ensure agency staff are paid at the same level as permanent employees;
  • Increase the holiday reference period from 12 to 52 weeks, so that seasonal or other workers receive their entitlement of paid time off;
  • Require companies to provide a written statement of rights to workers from the first day of employment, setting out paid leave, sickness and maternity/paternity leave entitlements; and
  • Increase employment tribunal fines four-fold from £5,000 to £20,000.

Other provisions have been proposed to ‘name and shame’ employers who do not make employment tribunal payments. This will operate similarly to the scheme around employers who fail to meet their national minimum wage obligations.

Whilst the announcements were met with the expected up-beat assessment from the government, there has been criticism from trades unions and Labour, who feel the provisions do not go far enough to protect the most vulnerable workers. The national minimum wage is also under scrutiny in a separate consultation which closes in March.

Employers who have workers on flexible or zero -hour contracts will need to be aware of the wide-reaching changes outlined in the ‘Good Work’ report that are likely to go through to legislation.

If you would like further information on this, or other aspects of managing the employment life cycle, French Duncan HR Services would be delighted to assist you. Please contact the French Duncan HR Services team on 0141 221 2984 or email info@fdhrservicesco.uk to arrange a free consultation.

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