The Good Work Plan – Employer ‘Need-to-Knows’

April 9, 2020

 

Businesses and organisations are facing new challenges posed by the Coronavirus outbreak; however, employers must still be aware of the new workplace reforms that came into force on 6 April 2020.

Known as the ‘Good Work Plan’, the changes have been described as “the biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years”. Here are some of the key changes that you need to be aware of:

Written statement of terms to all workers

From 6 April 2020, all new employees and workers must be issued with a written statement of terms on or before their first day. The terms must include:

  • how long a job is expected to last

  • the end date of a fixed-term contract

  • how much notice is required to terminate the agreement

  • details of eligibility for sick leave and pay

  • the duration and conditions of any probationary period

  • the contractual hours and days workers are required to work

  • any other benefits

Holiday pay

The Government has increased the holiday pay reference period for calculating an average week’s pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. The increase will prevent seasonal workers losing out over the way holiday pay was previously calculated and it will give more flexibility to workers in terms of choosing when to take holiday.

Agency workers

The ‘Swedish derogation’ has been abolished. Previously, agency workers could agree a contract which would remove their right to equal pay with permanent counterparts after 12 weeks working at the same assignment. Since 6 April 2020, these contracts are no longer permissible. All agency workers are now entitled to the same rate of pay as permanent staff after 12 weeks of employment.  

Employers and agencies will also need to provide agency workers with a Key Facts Page containing:

  • an overview of the proposed contractual arrangements such as the type of contract

  • the minimum rate of pay

  • how they are to be paid

  • if they are paid through an intermediary company

  • any deductions or fees that will be taken, and what this means for their take home pay

New parental bereavement leave and pay

A new statutory right for employees to take one or two weeks off work following the death of a child under 18 or a stillbirth has also come into force, also known as the ‘parental bereavement leave’. Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to two weeks of paid leave at the statutory rate, and other employees will be entitled to unpaid leave.

National Minimum Wage

As of 6 April 2020, the National Living Wage has increased from £8.21 to £8.72 and the National Minimum Wage has increased from £7.70 to £8.20. The minimum rates have also been increased in respect of 18-20-year-olds, younger teenagers and apprentices.

 

 

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