Right now, all the HR newsfeeds are full of Coronavirus and furlough news, so you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s the only thing happening in the world of employment law! But amidst the mayhem of the pandemic, the Good Work Plan came into force on 6th April 2020.
For those of you who don’t know, the idea of the Good Work Plan was conceived in 2018 by the UK Government and outlines their vision for the future of the UK labour market. It’s based on recommendations that arose from the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices that particularly looked at the rise of digital platforms, the implications of new forms of work such as gig-economy jobs, and the impacts of new working models such as the rise of the ‘worker’ vs an employee.
There are four specific recommendations that cover the rights of agency workers, the employment status of workers, increased transparency in the labour market, and the enforcement of these employment rights and recommendations.
The Government hopes that if these four areas are addressed, it will make the job market fairer for agency workers.
2019 changes already in force
As you may already know, back in April 2019, when life was simpler, the Government introduced a few changes into employment law that include:
- An increased maximum penalty imposed by employment tribunals for ‘aggravated breaches of employment law’
- Big payslip changes:
o All workers need to receive a payslip in the same way as employees
o Payslips should include the hours work for all hourly paid staff
What changes have been made to the Good Work Plan in 2020?
Luckily, for most employers who have invested in HR already and have a decent employment contract, this shouldn’t mean too much, but there are some key points to be aware of…
- Issue contracts on day one of employment – historically you had two months to issue a contract of employment but now you must do this on the first day
- Employment contracts must include more detail around certain elements including:
- the specific days of the week to be worked or typical working arrangements for casual staff,
- entitlements to paid leave like maternity and family leave
- any benefits that are offered above statutory
- details of any probationary period
- details of any training that is either required or provided
- These requirements apply to workers as well as employee’s
Other April 2020 employment law changes
As well as changes to the Good Work Plan, we thought we’d remind you about other important changes to employment law, such as:
- Increases to National Minimum Wage rates and statutory rates for maternity, family leave and sick pay
- The method for calculating holiday pay for employees with irregular hours or pay changed to using a reference period of 52 weeks instead of 12 weeks
- Increased rights for agency workers
- Termination payments above £30,000 will soon be subject to employer NICs
- New right to parental bereavement leave for employees
- IR35 being postponed until next year due to Coronavirus
You can read more on this here.
At citrus HR we keep on top of all these legal updates for our customers and prepare handy tools that can help save you time and money on HR admin, like our job offer and contract generator that can generate you a fully bespoke contract in less than 5 minutes! Meaning you’ll never have to enter new starter details again or get caught out by minimum wage increases.