In December 2018 the Government published proposals to reform UK Employment Law following recommendations made in the Taylor Report.
The Government is calling this ‘the biggest reform of employment law in 20 years’.
A link to the document (which is 44 pages in length) is here.
The main proposals are:
- changing the rules about continuous employment so that breaks of up to 4 weeks will not affect employees’ continuous service and relevant rights
- streamlining the relevant legal tests that relate to employment / worker / contractor status to avoid employers’ misclassifying those who work for them
- A new right to request a fixed working pattern (e.g. for those on zero hours contracts) after 26 weeks on a non-fixed pattern
- making it compulsory to issue a written statement of key terms and conditions to workers (not just employees) and for this to be required from day one (currently this is required within the first two months)
- a ban on employers deducting from tips received by employees
- abolishing employment agencies’ ability to avoid the requirement of equal pay and benefits for agency workers by including a right to pay when they are not working for the agencies’ clients (‘the Swedish Derogation’)
- increasing the penalty on employers for ‘aggravating conduct’ from £5,000 to £20,000
The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 comes into force on 6 April 2020. It provides that the written statement of employment particulars must be given from day one of employment. It also changes the rules for calculating a week’s pay for holiday pay purposes, increasing the reference period for variable pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2018 abolishes the Swedish Derogation for agency workers. It also comes into force on 6 April 2020.
The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 extends the right to a written statement to workers (previously employees), increases penalties for aggravated breaches of employment law, and lowers the percentage required for a valid employee request for the employer to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting its employees.