Government announces new legislation to protect 'atypical workers'

Legislation to be introduced into Parliament today.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy will today introduce new legislation that aims to bolster protections for 'atypical' workers such as agency staff and those on zero-hours contracts. It follows in the wake of the [Taylor Review published last year ]()and claims to 'move forward' 51 out of the 53 recommendations made in Lord Taylor's report.

In concrete terms the new legislation will:

  1. close a loophole by repealing the Swedish derogation – which currently allows agency workers to be employed on cheaper rates than permanent counterparts
  2. extend the right to a day one written statement of rights to workers. The statement will also need to set out rights such as eligibility for sick leave and pay and details of other types of paid leave, such as maternity and paternity leave
  3. quadruple, from £5,000 to £20,000, the maximum fine that can be imposed by an Employment Tribunal on employers who have demonstrably shown malice, spite or gross oversight in dealing with their employees
  4. extend the holiday pay reference period from 12 to 52 weeks
  5. lower the threshold required for a request to set up Information and Consultation arrangements from 10% to 2%

Alongside these changes, BEIS has also responded to the Labour Market Strategy  set out by Sir David Metcalf, the Director of Labour Market Enforcement, in May 2018. In response to that report, BEIS is:

  1. bringing forward proposals in early 2019 for a single enforcement body to ensure vulnerable workers are better protected
  1. providing more resources for the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate
  1. creating new powers to impose penalties for employers who breach employment agency legislation like non-payment of wages
  1. consulting on Salaried Hours Work and Salary Sacrifice Schemes to ensure National Minimum Wage rules do not inadvertently penalise employers
  1. bringing forward legislation to enforce holiday pay for vulnerable workers
  1. consulting on the recommendations on non-compliance in supply chains

Read more on the BEIS website.

Published: 17/12/2018 09:53

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