The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has confirmed millions of flexible workers will receive new rights under major government reforms as the UK becomes one of the first countries to address the challenges of the changing world of work in the modern economy.
The ‘Good Work plan’ comes in response to the independent Taylor Review, published last year, which investigated what impact modern working practices are having on the world of work. The review found that the strength of the UK’s labour market is built on flexibility but that a clearer focus is needed on quality of work as well as the quantity of jobs.
The reforms are a vital part of the Industrial Strategy, the government’s long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK.
Delivering on the Prime Minister’s pledge to not just protect but build on workers’ rights, the government has set out proposals to ensure workers know their rights and receive the benefits and protections they are entitled to, and that action is taken against employers who breach workers’ rights.
In some cases the government plans to go further than the review’s proposals, including:
- enforcing vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay for the first time
- a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements and a new right to a payslip for all workers, including casual and zero-hour workers
- a right for all workers, not just zero-hour and agency, to request a more stable contract, providing more financial security for those on flexible contracts
The Prime Minister said: We recognise the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business.
“We are proud to have record levels of employment in this country but we must also ensure that workers’ rights are always upheld.”
Lead author of the review and CEO of the Royal Society of Arts, Matthew Taylor, recognised that the UK’s employment law and tax law can fail to provide the clarity that employers and individuals need.
The Government is also launching a detailed consultation examining options, including new legislation, to make it easier for both the workforce and businesses to understand whether someone is an employee, worker or self-employed – determining which rights and tax obligations apply to them.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The Taylor Review said that the current approach to employment is successful but that we should build on that success, in preparing for future opportunities.
“We want to embrace new ways of working, and to do so we will be one of the first countries to prepare our employment rules to reflect the new challenges.
“We will take forward Matthew Taylor’s recommendations and commit to pursuing the quality of work as well as number of jobs.”
The government will seek to protect workers’ rights by:
- take further action to ensure unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker;
- introducing a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards
- quadrupling employment tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000 and considering increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases
The government will ensure workers are paid fairly by:
- providing all 1.2 million agency workers with a clear breakdown of who pays them and any costs or charges deducted from their wages
- asking the Low Pay Commission to consider the impact of higher minimum wage rates for workers on zero-hour contracts
- considering repealing laws allowing agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates
The government will increase transparency in the business environment by:
- defining ‘working time’ for flexible workers who find jobs through apps or online so they know when they should be being paid
- launching a task force with business to promote awareness and take-up of the right to request flexible working introduced in 2014
- making sure new and expectant mothers know their workplace rights and raise awareness amongst employers of their obligations
- launching a new campaign to encourage more working parents to share childcare through Shared Parental Leave – a right introduced in 2015
Quality work will also be considered by the government when agreeing new sector deals with industry, encouraging employers to show how they are investing in their workforces to improve productivity.
The BEIS will work with labour market experts, trade unions and the business community to measure the standards of quality work established in the Taylor Review.
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Technology has taken hold of FM on a global scale, with developments in mobile usage, IoT, smart technology and automation fuelling its growth. But how are FMs personally being impacted by these changes?
Service Works Group, international FM software provider in partnership with FMJ, would like to find out how you are managing technology in your role through a short survey.
Your responses will help to provide analysis and insight into the use of technology within the industry in the UK and Ireland, so your input is vital.
One lucky winner will be picked at random to receive £300 of shopping vouchers.
Take the survey NOW!