The Good Work Plan - Future legislative changes to be aware of

The REC has been engaging in the good work agenda from the outset.

The REC has been engaging in the good work agenda from the outset. First with Matthew Taylor to feed into his report to government and subsequently with the government in the lead up to the publication of the Good Work Plan, ensuring the recruitment industry’s voice has been heard along the way. We support many of the principles and recommendations in the review, particularly the emphasis on transparency. Now, as legislation is gradually introduced, we are seeking to ensure the government guidance is clear and works for recruiters and that we provide our members with everything they need to know to get prepared for some of the legislative changes that may be coming into force in the near future.

Below is a rundown of the changes.

Itemised payslips

From 6 April 2019, all workers (not just employees) have been entitled to receive a payslip. This must document any variation in pay across the time worked. You can read our legal guide for more information on itemised payslips.

The introduction of a Key Information Document

The Key Information Document legislation was agreed by parliament through secondary legislation in March. From April 2020, it requires employment businesses to provide work-seekers with a ‘Key Information’ Document before terms are agreed between the employment business and the work-seeker. This includes:

  • the type of contract a worker is employed under
  • the minimum rate of pay that they can expect
  • how they are to be paid
  • if they are paid through an intermediary company
  • any deductions or fees that will be taken
  • an estimate or an example of what this means for their take home pay

The principle behind the legislation is to increase transparency for the work-seeker on what they will be paid where there are other intermediaries in the supply chain, for instance when an umbrella company or personal service company is involved.

Swedish Derogation

As expected following the Taylor Review, the government confirmed in December that they would abolish so-called Swedish Derogation contracts – which currently allow agency workers to trade off equal pay for pay between assignments before terminating the contract. Secondary legislation has been agreed and these contracts are no longer legal from April 2020.

Written statement

From April 2020, an amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996 will mean that employees and workers are entitled to a written statement from day one of their employment about their employment status, days and times required to work, remuneration (not just pay), entitlements such as training, sick leave and maternity/paternity leave, duration of contract and notice and probation periods.

Holiday pay legislation and guidance

The government is currently campaigning to promote the entitlement to holiday pay and has made guidance available to workers and businesses to assist with calculating holiday pay entitlement for irregular hours. From April 2020, the holiday pay reference period will increase the pay reference period from 12 to 52 weeks (or time worked, if less than 52 weeks).

Future Legislation

Finally, in the Good Work Plan the government made several proposals for future legislation or regulative changes. These are part of a drive by the government to update employment law in the UK to better reflect and keep up with changes in the labour market and workplace. A number of these proposals are likely to impact on the recruitment sector including the intention to regulate umbrella companies, legislation to clarify and align employment and tax status, and the right to request a more stable and predictable contract. Along with this, we are likely to see consultations on proposals to tackle ‘one sided flexibility’ looking at legislation to enforce payment for cancelled shifts and reasonable notice periods.  The REC will continue to update and consult members on future changes and engage with government on the possible impacts of any future legislation.

Keep an eye on the Good Work hub for all the latest member resources and support. www.rec.uk.com/goodwork.

See this article on the REC website

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