Following our article earlier this week about the “Good Work Plan”, the government has now introduced the first three statutory instruments implementing some of the changes outlined in the Plan:
- The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019. These Regulations will take effect from 6 April 2019. They increase the maximum penalty which an employment tribunal can impose on an employer for some breaches of employment rights from £5,000 to £20,000. They will also lower the threshold at which an employer has to act on a request to set up formal information and consultation arrangements from 10 per cent to 2 per cent.
- The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. These Regulations will come into force on 6 April 2020. They introduce the right to a written statement of key terms for all workers from day one – although they do allow employers to provide these particulars in instalments provided that all the required information is given within two months and the majority is given at the start. They also extend the holiday pay reference period for workers with variable remuneration hours from 12 weeks to 52 weeks so bringing a little more certainty to holiday pay calculations.
- The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019. These Regulations will also come into force on 6 April 2020. They abolish the “Swedish derogation”, which allows hirers/end users to pay agency workers less than their directly recruited employees if the agency workers are paid between assignments by the agency. Interestingly, Regulation 5 provides that an agency worker who is an employee and is dismissed could be regarded as unfairly dismissed or subjected to a detriment for a reason relating to the Regulations.
The Good Work Plan indicates that these three statutory instruments are just the first in a series of changes planned by the government dealing with worker status, agency workers and zero hour contracts. We will be updating our readers on further developments as they happen.