The UK government has issued a Good Work Plan, setting out proposals it says will ensure that workers "can access fair and decent work," but the plan doesn’t indicate a timetable for publishing proposed legislation. The government's proposals follow publication of the Taylor Review, an investigation of modern working practices and workers' rights conducted by Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts.
Highlights of Proposals
The proposed reforms would:
- Provide all workers the right to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks' employment on a nonfixed working pattern.
- Give all workers the right to a written statement of their rights from the first day of work. The contract would include more information, for example, on the eligibility for pay, sick leave and other types of leave.
- Repeal the "Swedish derogation" that allows agency workers to be paid less than direct hires, provided they are employed by the agency and are paid between assignments.
- Require that agency workers be informed of their type of contract, their minimum rates of pay, their estimated take-home pay, how they would be paid by the intermediary company, and any pay deductions.
- Provide that a continuous period of employment could only be broken after four weeks, currently there is only a one-week period.
- Align and clarify the tests for determining employment status, a move designed to reduce misclassifications.
- Increase the reference period for calculating holiday pay entitlement to 52 weeks from 12 to take account of seasonal variations.
- Reduce the threshold for triggering the establishment of workplace information and consultation procedures to 2% of employees from 10%. The requirement for a minimum threshold of 15 employees would remain unchanged. The proposal anticipates that steps would be taken to improve employee engagement in industrial sectors that have significant rates of low-paid or casual employment.
- Good Work Plan (UK Government, 17 Dec 2018)