Just before the Christmas holidays the Government unveiled it’s ‘Good work plan’, in response to the four consultations which were published in February 2018 after the Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices in 2017. This was accompanied by a letter from the Low Pay Commission on one-sided flexibility. The scope of the proposed legislation is wide ranging, and will herald the biggest shake up of employment law for a generation.

In conjunction with the inevitable (miss) information that will accompany the introduction of any new laws, there is bound to be some impact on the construction industry. We won’t know exactly what this will be until the draft legislation is actually published, but it is likely that rules governing how agencies businesses operate will go through significant revision.

As  EEBS is not directly targeted by these proposed changes we remain confident that if we are not already compliant with regulations when the changes are implemented, then it will be pretty straightforward for us to adopt any new rules without too much inconvenience for our clients. For those using an alternative provider then our advice would be to check that they are fully informed, and that the arrangements they have in place with you will be compliant when the new proposed legislation comes into play.

Under normal circumstances there would have been a barrage of reporting on these proposals, but the timing, and extraordinary developments around Brexit has meant that the reception to these proposals has been pretty low key.

In the meantime if you are interested in more details, the planned changes include:

  • Legislation will be introduced to repeal the Swedish derogation and ban the use of this type of contract to withhold agency workers’ equal pay rights
  • The break in continuous service will be extended from one week to four weeks allowing more employees to gain access to employment rights
  • Legislation will be introduced allowing all workers to request a more predictable and stable contract
  • Proposals will be put forward in early 2019 to create a new single labour market enforcement agency to better ensure that vulnerable workers are more aware of their rights
  • The government will extend the remit of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate to cover umbrella companies
  • State enforcement protections will be increased for agency workers who have pay withheld or unclear deductions made from pay by an umbrella company
  • The maximum level of penalty that Employment Tribunals can impose in instances of aggravated breach penalty will increase from £5,000 to £20,000 as well as creating an obligation on Employment Tribunals to consider the use of sanctions where employers have lost a previous case on broadly the same facts
  • Legislation will be drafted to improve the clarity of the employment status tests, reflecting the reality of modern working relationships
  • The government will agree to make detailed proposals on how the frameworks for employment rights and employment tax can be aligned to reduce differences between the two systems to an absolute minimum
  • The threshold required for a request to set up Information and Consultation arrangements, to improve the validity of worker opinion in the workplace, will be reduced from 10% to 2%
  • The right to a written statement on day one will be extended to all workers as well as employees and the information required will be expanded
  • All employment businesses will be required to provide every agency worker with a key facts page when they start work, including a clear breakdown of who pays them, and any costs or charges deducted from their wages
  • An awareness campaign, targeted at both individuals and employers, will be launched with the aim of ensuring that all workers are benefiting from their paid entitled to leave
    • New guidance and real-life examples to support the interpretation of holiday pay rule
    • An updated and improved holiday entitlement calculator will be published
    • The government is considering the option of a new holiday pay calculator
  • Legislation will extend the holiday pay reference period from 12 to 52 weeks and further measures will be set out to ensure vulnerable workers receive their holiday pay

Unsure if your current arrangements are compliant with the new legislation? Contact the team on 01245 493832 or info@eebs.co.uk