The Good Work Plan: Important Employment Law Changes For April 2020

Wednesday 05 February 2020 - Citation

‘…the biggest shake-up of employment law in a generation.’ 

In response to the challenges caused by the huge growth in the use of casual working and self-employed arrangements, the government is currently rolling out an extensive programme of employment law reforms known as the Good Work Plan.

The aim of the reforms is not to restrict flexibility for employers, as this seen as key for businesses. However, they aim to make it easier for individuals to understand and enforce their rights and provide much greater clarity on the terms of engagement. 

BSIA Associate Member, Citation, carried out research which found that one-third of employers are still unaware of the Good Work Plan, some are incorrectly calculating holiday pay, and many are not prepared for the changes.

With a significant number of the changes due to come into effect on the fast-approaching date of April 6 2020, it’s worth reading up to make sure you’re aware of the changes and their impact.

Defining employment status

The key issue at the heart of these reforms is how to start working out the employment status of those working for you, as employment rights are governed by this. 

Though there is no sign of this on the horizon, the government has conceded that this is an area of unacceptable uncertainty and has promised legislation to clarify this.

As an example, individuals in the security industry might start working for a business on a casual basis but through regular use, they may have become integrated with the business to such an extent that they would be classed as employees or workers, with the additional rights this entails.

So what do BSIA members and security businesses need to know? 

Many people currently working in the security sector, such as contractors, will be doing so without a stable contract, with their hours differing every week. 

A key focus area of the Good Work Plan is seeking to address rights for workers without fixed hours, and those working without employee status.

Written statement of particulars of employment for all workers from day one;

An increase in the holiday pay calculation period;

And increased protection for agency workers.

In terms of holiday pay, the method for calculating entitlements to those working variable hours will change significantly from taking an average of the previous 12 weeks worked to calculating the average over the previous 52 weeks worked.

Another significant change set out in the reforms is allowing some workers the right to request a stable contract. This will not be mandatory, in recognition that some people are happy to work varied hours each week and so will be able to continue doing so. However, those who would like more certainty about their hours will be able to request a fixed working pattern from their employer. Although we do not yet have an implementation date for this, this change was a major feature in the new Employment Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The reforms also aim to improve the enforcement of employment rights (especially holiday entitlement and pay), by introducing state enforcement of these rights for ‘vulnerable workers’ (yet to be defined). Over recent years, the rules about what should be included in holiday pay have changed through a series of court decisions on overtime and commission payments.

The Good Work Plan itself is complicated and confusing. Managers and employers wishing to know more should download the white paper produced by the HR and employment law of Citation.

Available HR & Employment Law support from Citation

If you’ve got any questions, call Citation’s friendly team today on 0345 844 1111 or get in touch here – just mention you’re from BSIA when enquiring.

With complex legislation change on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to consider getting the complete backing of HR experts.

GWP Inforgraphic

BSIA members are also entitled to preferential rates on Citation’s HR & Employment Law services, including:

Dedicated local consultant

24-hour expert advice line

Full legal documentation, including staff handbooks and contracts of employment 

Access to Atlas, your one-stop-shop HR management tool.

To find out more or book a free consultation, click here or call 0345 844 1111 to chat about your requirements; quote ‘BSIA’ to access your member benefit.

Gillian McAteer Citation

Blog by Gillian McAteer – the Head of Employment Law of Associate Member and HR & Employment Law experts, Citation. Qualifying as a solicitor in 1992, Gill has been with Citation since 2003. Her extensive commercial experience has equipped her with invaluable insights into clients’ pain points and enables her to guide businesses to the right solution in any given situation.