By Karen Coleman Employment Law

By now, many company directors will be aware of the Good Work Plan but what does it mean for your business?

The Government published its proposals in December 2018, setting out what it described as “our vision for the future of the UK labour market.”

It followed the independent Taylor Review of modern working practices which looked into the issues in our labour market such as the implications of new forms of work, the rise of digital platforms and impacts of new working models. Employers need to be aware of and prepared for various changes to the employment and appointment of their staff that will come into effect on 6 April 2020.

The changes from 6 April are:

Applicability of Section 1 Statement – Employers are currently only legally required to provide a written statement of the main terms of employment to their employees (Section 1 Statement). From 6 April 2020, employers will also have to provide Section 1 Statements to their workers.

Day 1 right – Section 1 Statements will need to be provided on or before the worker’s/employee’s first day of work. There will no longer be a two-month grace period.

This does not mean that a company has to issue new contracts to existing staff if their terms do not change. Employees will, however, have the right to request new Section 1 Statements at any time, including up to three months after the end of their appointment/employment, and employers will have one month to comply. If employers change any term which is required to be listed in the Section 1 Statements, they will need to notify their staff accordingly.

When compiling statements, companies will be required to include information such as:

Details of any probationary period, including its duration and any conditions that apply (such as a shorter notice period) during the probation
A statement of all paid leave entitlements
Training entitlements and a note on what training is paid for by the employer
A rundown of all benefits provided by the company including contractual and non-contractual benefits
Terms relating to any work the worker will be required to complete outside the UK for periods lasting over one month.
The good news is that most employers will have much of this information already and this will often already be documented with staff contracts.

However, there is a need to ensure that a sufficient level of detail is provided to comply with Good Law legislation.

Karen Coleman Employment Law has years of experience in drafting contracts for companies and can work with you to ensure that you meet your requirements under the new legislation. Email kcoleman@excellolaw.co.uk.

In addition to Section 1 Statements, there are a number of other changes coming on 6 April, including:

Reference period increase – the reference period for calculating average weekly pay for those with variable hours will increase from 12 to 52 weeks. This is intended to prevent staff being disadvantaged if they take holiday during quieter times.
Swedish derogation removal – it will no longer be possible to rely on the Swedish derogation provision when using agency workers. Agencies whose contracts with their workers contain such provisions will need to be provided with a written statement confirming that, with effect from 6 April 2020, these will no longer apply. The Swedish derogation provisions had previously provided an exemption from the right to parity of terms with direct recruits after 12 weeks where agency workers were issued with a permanent contract and paid between assignments.