In response to the findings published last year in Matthew Taylor’s Review of Modern Working Practices, the Government has today pledged to follow through on some of the recommendations and improve employment rights for millions of flexible workers.

Business Secretary Greg Clark announced that the new Good Work Plan will “put the UK at the front of the pack in addressing the challenges and opportunities of modern ways of working” and it “will enhance our business environment as one of the best places to work, invest and do business”.

The overall message from last year’s Taylor review was that people in the UK valued flexible working however many were having to sacrifice their basic employment rights in return.

Proposed Measures

The Government’s Good Work Plan outlines a number of measures that it would like to achieve, including:

  1. A new day-one right to sick pay and holiday pay for all “vulnerable” workers including casual and zero-hour workers
  2. Giving all workers the right to a payslip to clarify who is paying them and documenting deductions. This is of particular significance to agency workers
  3. A right for all workers to request a “more stable contract”, although quite what this means at the stage in still unclear
  4. Action to ensure that unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker
  5. A new “naming and shaming” scheme for employers who don’t pay employment tribunal awards
  6. Quadrupling employment tribunal fines for employers who show “malice, spite or gross oversight” to £20,000 with further increased penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases (and by implication haven’t “learnt their lesson”)

Further Consultations

The Good Work Plan is at this stage very light on what legislative changes will be made, and in fact launches another four further consultations on the following areas of employment law highlighted in the Taylor Review:

  1. Enforcement of employment rights
  2. Protecting agency workers
  3. Increasing transparency in the UK labour market
  4. Employment status including tax implications

Whilst the Government has accepted almost all of the recommendations from the Taylor Report, this Good Work Plan shows that there is still some way to go until we see firm action.

If you are unsure of your employment status or perhaps you are concerned that you are not being treated fairly at work, contact a member of our specialist employment law team today.  You will receive a FREE 30 minute consultation to discuss your circumstances and outline your options.

The Backhouse Solicitors Team

Tel:         01245 893400