Contracted and zero-hours workers in the UK will have greater protection ©Getty Images
Contracted and zero-hours workers in the UK will have greater protection ©Getty Images

Law: employment reforms affect worker contracts

5 April 2019

To strengthen workers’ rights in the UK, the government unveiled its Good Work Plan in December 2018, which will see dramatic changes made to existing employment laws and policy

The plan has been labelled “the biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years,” says Tina Chander, partner at law firm Wright Hassall. It builds on the Taylor Review recommendations of February 2018, she explains, outlining an intention to improve conditions for agency, zero-hour and other workers. 

Changes include legislation that will give workers the right to request a more stable contract, allowing them to benefit from flexible working, without the uncertainty. 

The government also aims to repeal Swedish derogation, which allows agency workers to exchange their right to be paid equally to permanent counterparts in return for a contract guaranteeing pay between assignments. New legislation will come into force, she says, banning this type of contract to withhold equal pay rights.

State enforcement for vulnerable workers will be extended, introducing tough financial penalties and protection for agency workers – and on 6 April 2019, new legislation under the UK Employment Rights Act 1996 is due to come into force, introducing a right for all workers to be provided with an itemised pay statement. Results are also due on a consultation on changes to National Minimum Wage legislation to prevent penalising employers.

“It’s important that organisations take time to review the changes and understand the requirements, as non-compliance could cost organisations financially and damage their reputation,” says Chander.

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