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The good work plan: The Government's response to the Taylor Review

The good work plan: The Government's response to the Taylor Review

By Ben Smith - 31 January 2018

In December, the government revealed its proposals to implement the Taylor Review, the independent review of working life and employment rights in the UK. The Taylor Review was published in July 2017 the government has been slow to respond. Their response is, unfortunately, light on the details and predominately focused on small changes. Clarification of the definitions of employment status - arguably the most significant recommendation the Taylor Review made – was neatly sidestepped by the government, with only a vague promise to legislate to clarify the law at an unspecified point in the future. With Brexit growing ever more all-consuming, it seems inevitable that this clarification will fall off the legislative radar.

The other proposals made range from very minor changes to some which are potentially more significant, such as giving certain workers the right to request a stable contract. The table below sets out the key proposals made and when they are proposed to come into effect. At the time of writing, however, most of these proposals have not been followed by draft legislation so they remain subject to change.

Proposal

Who is affected?

When will it happen?

Substantive changes to employment law

A new right to request a stable contract. A worker on a zero-hours contract who regularly works 30 hours a week would be able to request a contract guaranteeing 30 hours of work a week.

Workers after 26 weeks’ service No date proposed.

Longer periods allowed before continuous employment is broken. This would extend the break between employment to 4 weeks, from 1 week.

All workers No date proposed. 

Abolishing the “Swedish” derogation which allows some agency workers to be paid less than their directly employed counterparts

Agency workers April 2020

Lowering the threshold required for employees to request that an employer set up information and consultation arrangements to 2% (current: 10%) of all employees

Employees April 2020

New legislation "clarifying employment status"

Everyone No date proposed 

Expanding the right to receive a statement of terms of employment to all workers. Currently, only employees have this right

All workers  April 2020

Enforcement of employment law

Naming and shaming employers who do not comply with tribunal awards

All employers In force as of 18 December 2018

Streamlining the Employment Tribunal process to make it easier for claimants to navigate

All parties No date proposed

Expanding HMRC enforcement of sick pay and holiday pay rights, with details to be provided in the future

All entitled to sick and/or holiday pay No date proposed

The creation of a new unified labour market enforcement body with expanded powers and resources

All workers Proposals will be put forward in 2019