Good Work Plan - implementing legislation

Legislation has been published bringing into force various aspects of the Good Work Plan by Matthew Taylor.

In 2017 Matthew Taylor published proposals for workplace reforms, the majority of which were subsequently accepted by the government to form part of The Good Work Plan.

Agency workers

The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which come into force on 6 April 2020, do away with the so-called Swedish derogation. They do this by revoking reg. 10 and 11 of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 which allow agency workers to opt out of equal pay entitlements which become available after 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer, subject to certain conditions including pay between individual assignments in the UK.

Agencies will have to give agency workers covered by the Swedish derogation a written statement informing them that, from 6 April 2020, they are entitled to the rights relating to pay contained in reg. 5. Such a statement must be given by 30 April 2020. Failure to do so means an agency worker will be able to bring a tribunal claim.

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2019 require, from 6 April 2020, employment businesses to give an agency worker, before they are engaged, a ‘key information document’. This must contain information about pay, benefits, costs, deductions and fees and a representative example statement which illustrates the remuneration which the individual seeking work can expect to receive. Employment businesses will be allowed to provide different key information documents while terms remain to be agreed, provided these are then updated if necessary.

Financial penalties, s. 1 statements and I&C thresholds

The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 has/will introduce the Good Work Plan changes to financial penalties for employers, section 1 statements for workers and information and consultation thresholds:

  • From 6 April 2019, the maximum penalty which a tribunal can award for an aggravated breach of a worker’s employment rights has increased to £20,000 (from £5,000).
  • From 6 April 2020, all ‘workers’ will be entitled to a written statement of employment particulars (s. 1 statement) – currently this right only applies to employees.
  • From 6 April 2020, the percentage required for a valid employee request for the employer to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting its employees will be lowered - from 10% to 2% of the total number of employees employed by the employer.