Government publishes “Good Work Plan” proposals for reforming gig economy

December 19, 2018


Following the Taylor Review on the impact of modern working practices and the “gig economy”, the government has set out its proposals to reform employment law, describing them as some of the biggest changes to workers’ rights in 20 years.

The key reforms are:

  • The right to request a fixed working pattern: this would apply to those who do not have a set working pattern, including workers on zero-hour contracts. These workers would have the right to request fixed hours of work after 26 weeks on a non-fixed pattern.

  • The right to a written statement of terms and conditions: this right will be extended to workers, as well as employees. In addition, employers will now have to give staff this document on the first day of work, rather than within 2 months as is the current rule;

  • Ban on employers making deductions from staff tips: this will end the unpopular practice of employers taking a cut of tips given by customers to waiting and kitchen staff;

  • Re-define types of employment status: this would clarify the different types of employment status, in an attempt to prevent employers from wrongly classifying employees or workers as self-employed; and

  • Continuity of employment: new rules will state that if a worker has a gap of up to 4 weeks between contracts with one employer, they will be treated as having been employed continuously through that period (an increase on the current 1-week rule); and

  • Agency workers’ pay: a new rule will prevent employers from paying their agency staff less than their own employees and/or workers in certain circumstances.

Whilst the Government has described the reforms as the “largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation”, trade unions have expressed concerns that the reforms do not go far enough to protect zero-hours contract workers. For example, the right to request a fixed working pattern simply means the right to have that request considered, as opposed to having it granted – employers will still have considerable discretion to refuse such requests if they can show a business rationale for doing so.

The Government has now begun to draft legislation and set a timetable for some of these proposals; most of the provisions will not come into force until April 2020. Therefore, whilst there is no current urgency, employers should keep these changes on their radars so they are not caught by surprise when they eventually come into force.

We will update you on developments in due course.



Contact Our Team
Catherine Burke
View Profile
Damian Phillips
View Profile
Fflur Jones
Managing Partner
View Profile
Gareth Wedge
View Profile
Mark Rostron
View Profile
Nick O’Sullivan
View Profile
Owen John
View Profile
Rhodri Lewis
View Profile
Stephen Thompson
View Profile

I have worked with Darwin Gray for a number of years and the level of service, professionalism and timely response is second to none. I would highly recommend Darwin Gray to any business.”

Becs Beslee
Dice FM Ltd

Darwin Gray have provided us with a first-class service for many years now. They really take the time to understand our business and develop relationships which results in advice and support that is contextualised and effective.”

Rebecca Cooper
ACT Training

We have worked with Darwin Gray for several years and have always found their services and advice to be first class.”

Karen Gale
Stepping Stones Group

An extremely professional and sincere company who make time for your queries and understand the need to break down certain facts and information to ensure everything is understood perfectly. I would highly recommend the company to anyone looking for any type of legal advice”

Gwawr Booth
Portal Training Ltd

PSS has worked with Darwin Gray for many years. We have always received an excellent service. Prompt and professional advice and support.”

Ledia Shabani
Property Support Services UK Ltd

We have used several departments within DG recently and we have been very pleased with an effective, efficient and down to earth service. Very happy thus far and I expect that we will continue to use DG.”

Guto Bebb
Farmers’ Union of Wales

Darwin Gray offer us truly superb services. Very professional, quick and services available bilingually which is very important to us, highly recommend.”

Iwan Hywel
Mentrau Iaith Cymru

My “go to” in urgent and time sensitive cases for direction, support and advice. The team are quick to respond to calls or emails for advice and support on all matters. Always explain complex matters in a way a lay person can easily understand.”

Margot Adams
Guarding UK Ltd