The Government has today announced its ‘Good Work plan’ in response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. Certain key issues raised in the Taylor Review, including reforming the law on employment status, will be put out to consultation. Other measures that have been announced include:
- New day-one rights for workers, including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip for all workers;
- A right for all workers (including zero-hour and agency workers) to request a more stable contract. We await further clarification on what this will involve;
- HMRC will have the power to enforce holiday and sick pay rights on behalf of vulnerable workers;
- Employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards will be named and shamed;
- The maximum financial penalty that can be imposed on employers who lose tribunal cases (in addition to the usual tribunal remedies) where there was malice, spite, gross oversight or similar aggravating features, will be quadrupled to £20,000. The Government is also considering increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases;
- In relation to agency workers, there are proposals to remove the ‘Swedish derogation’, which currently allows employment agencies who directly employ agency workers to ignore the requirement to pay the agency workers the same as direct recruits at the hiring organisation.