The Good Work Plan 2020 introduced multiple changes that strengthened the rights of workers and brought the biggest upgrade to employment law in a generation. As of 6th April 2020, the new rules revolutionised the way you manage your staff from the paperwork you give to new workers to how you work out holiday pay. However, with the disruption of COVID to many businesses, have you ensured that these changes have been made and that your business is up to date?
Here are the top ten points of the Good Work Plan:
1. Previously, any employee who worked for you for one month or more was entitled to receive a written statement of terms within two months of starting. The Good Work Plan has brought this forward so that all employees must receive a written statement of terms from day one of their employment.
2. The Good Work Plan also introduced a requirement for employers to issue a similar written statement of terms to workers from day one of their engagement. Previously, there was no such requirement and workers were often found working without any written terms.
Zero Hour Contracts
3. Zero-hours contracts are still permitted
4. The Good Work Plan gives employees and workers who do variable hours a right to request a more stable working pattern after they’ve been with their employer for 26 weeks. This may mean:
A guaranteed minimum number of hours to enable them to secure a mortgage or plan their finances.
Fixed days of work to enable them to plan their non-working time e.g. for childcare or a second job.
5. The Good Work Plan clarifies the definitions of “employee”, “worker” and “self-employed” and ensures greater consistency between the tests used by HMRC and the Employment Tribunals to reduce confusion and help businesses categorise their staff correctly.
6. The Good Work Plan makes it harder to break continuous service. Previously, if an employee stopped working for you and there was no expectation to come back, their continuous service was broken unless they came back to you within a week. This meant that if you let them go because you had no work for them, but then you found some more work for them two weeks later, their continuous service would drop back to zero. The new plan intends to amend this so that if the employee comes back within four weeks their continuous service will be preserved.
7. The government conducted an awareness campaign to make sure that employers and staff knew that holiday pay must be calculated on the basis of average pay – including payments such as shift allowances, overtime and commission.
8. The Good Work Plan stipulates that (for the purposes of holiday pay), average pay should be calculated over a 52 week reference period. Until last year, many employers made the calculation over a 12 week reference period (which is in keeping with the Employment Rights Act 1996). Because of this change, many employers will need to amend their processes.
9. HMRC will continue the tough approach to enforcement of National Minimum Wage and extend the same approach to enforcement of holiday pay.
10. The Good Work Plan bans employers from keeping tips intended for their staff.
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