Five Good Work Plan laws you need to know about

April 2020 is when some of the biggest new laws come in. Here’s your guide to five of the most complicated…

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Monday, Mar 23, 2020

3 min read

The Government has dubbed the Good Work Plan “the biggest overhaul in employment law in 20 years”. So don’t let these new changes catch you out…

  1. Workers get the right to a written statement

As it stands, only employees have the right to a written statement of employment.

But from 6th April 2020, you’ll need to give all employees and workers a written statement on or before their first day of employment.

Don’t know the difference between employees and workers? Let’s clear it up…

Workers don’t always have a written contract with their employer, and as they don’t have to accept the work their employer offers, they have fewer rights than employees.

Whereas employees always have a written contract of employment and have to accept the work their employer gives them. As an employee, they get flexible working rights, protection from dismissal, and the right to raise grievances.

  1. Right to request stable contracts

After 26 weeks of employment, workers and employees can request a clearer, more certain contract. For example, they can ask you for a guaranteed number of working hours or for fixed working days. 

You’ll have to approve or reject their request within three months. If you reject it, you’ll need to have a genuine business reason to back up your decision.  

  1. Break in continuous service will increase

At the moment, a gap of just one week can break a worker’s continuity of service.

And if they stop working for a week, they don’t get maternity pay, flexible working requests nor redundancy pay. But that’s all set to change…

The continuous service gap will increase to four weeks from April 2020, making it easier for staff to qualify for more employment rights.

  1. Agency workers to get Key Facts Page

You’ll need to give all agency workers a ‘Key Facts Page’ to tell them more about a job before they accept it.

The Key Facts Page can’t be longer than two A4 pages and must explain:

  • The type of contract.
  • The minimum rate of pay.
  • The person who pays the wage.

More protection for agency workers

From April 2020, you’ll have to pay agency workers with 12 weeks’ continuous service the same amount as permanent staff. Why?

Because the use of the Swedish Derogation model contracts is becoming unlawful. This contract lets agency workers opt out of getting the same pay as permanent staff in exchange for guaranteed pay between their temporary jobs.

But nowadays, agency workers don’t usually have lots of gaps between jobs. And the Government believes some agencies are using this opt-out clause to short-change their staff. So what does this mean for you?

Well, if you have Swedish Derogation model contracts with agency workers, you’ll need to give them a written statement by 30th April 2020.

In the statement, you’ll need to explain that workers get the same pay as permanent staff after 12 weeks’ service. You’ll also need to start paying eligible workers the correct wages from April 2020.

If you don’t, you could face employment tribunals and hefty fines.

To know more about the Good Work Plan and how to get your business ready in time, call BrightAdvice on 0800 783 2806.

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