Recruitment advice, job seeker support and company news

Workers Benefit From Good Work Plan

6th April 2020

By Amanda McCulloch

With so much business disruption and coronavirus crisis news taking our attention right now it could be easy to inadvertently miss the legislative changes that have just come into force for agency and temporary worker resourcing.

But, these changes have been cited as the largest upgrade in a generation to workplace rights.

In 2011 the Agency Worker Regulations (2010) came into force giving agency workers the right to the same basic terms and employment conditions, after a 12-week qualifying period, as if they had been directly recruited into the same job. Impacting pay, overtime, shift allowance, bonuses, working hours and holidays the regulations tackled discrimination against agency workers.

Then in 2016, recognising how the world of work was evolving and the importance of temporary workers to a vibrant economy, the government commenced an independent review of employment practice, it was led by Matthew Taylor.

In response to the 53 recommendations in the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practice, the government unveiled the Good Work Plan, introducing extensive legislation amendments intended to better protect the rights of agency and temporary workers.

In the rest of this post I focus on 5 of the changes which take effect on 6 April 2020:

Key Information Document

This is a new document, created by the introduction of regulation 13A in the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (Conduct Regulations). The Key Information Document (KID) is one of the first documents a candidate must receive from recruitment agencies, alongside their registration pack, and it applies to candidates who wish to work on a PAYE basis and a limited company contractor basis.

This document is intended to improve the transparency of information agency workers receive in terms of their pay. A key element of the document is an example statement which shows the level of pay a worker could reasonably expect to receive by demonstrating how relevant statutory and non-statutory deductions will affect their take home pay.

Candidates should also expect generic information such as holiday entitlement to be included and to receive a new KID whenever there is a content change to the recorded information.

Written Statement of Particulars

All workers will be entitled to a written statement of particulars from day one of the working relationship. Information must be provided which includes days and times workers are required to work; duration of contract; notice period; all remuneration (not just pay); entitlement to sick leave and pay; other types of paid leave; training entitlements along with duration and conditions of any probationary period.

Much of the information to be provided in the written statement of particulars is already provided to TMM Recruitment agency workers in our assignment details documentation. For this reason we will provide a combined document from 6 April, including the additional information required under the written statement, into our assignment details documentation. This includes any terms and conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury and any training which the worker is required to undertake.

The written statement does not need to be provided to limited company contractors operating through their own personal service companies.

Holiday Pay

The holiday pay reference period is extended from 12 to 52 weeks to take account of seasonal variations. Where a worker has been employed by their employer for at least 52 weeks, the reference period is increased to 52 weeks. Where the worker has been employed for less than 52 weeks the reference period is the number of weeks for which the worker has been employed.

This will impact holiday pay calculations and the subsequent rates of pay workers receive when on annual leave.

Continuous Service

The relevant break in service for the calculation of continuous service will be extended from one to four weeks, making it easier for workers who may struggle to build up continuous service to access their rights.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Entitlement

This entitlement will allow parents to take two weeks off work with statutory pay if they lose a child (under the age of 18), including those who suffer a stillbirth.

The Good Work Plan intends that workers have more knowledge of their entitlements, and that is only right and fair. However, successful implementation demands effective communication between employer and worker and robust planning and implementation processes.

The old adage of fail to prepare, prepare to fail springs to mind as the burden of responsibility falls on employers to tighten up their employment practice to better protect the rights of their workers.

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