Workplace reforms have been announced for vulnerable “gig economy” workers, including agency workers and those on zero-hour contracts, to ensure that they are better protected. The reforms are based on the findings of a review by Matthew Taylor on modern workplace practices in the UK. Monday’s announcement takes forward 51 of the 53 recommendations placed in the review to improve the rights of many vulnerable workers.
A number of announcements were made including:
Closing a loophole that allowed agency staff to be paid less than permanent employees.
Ensuring that firms are obliged to provide workers with a written statement of rights. The statement will provide information on rights including eligibility for sick leave, and maternity/ paternity leave.
Increasing the maximum employment tribunal fines for employers who are demonstrated to have shown “malice, spite or gross oversight” from £5,000 to £20,000.
Extending the holiday reference period from 12 to 52 weeks, ensuring those in seasonal or atypical roles paid for the time off they are entitled to.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Today’s largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation is a key part of building a labour market that continues to reward people for hard work, that celebrates good employers and boosts productivity and earning potential across the UK.” It is hoped that the reform will provide workers with improved standards of work and a fairer system that safeguards their rights. The reforms are also a part of the long-term plan to build a Britain that is fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in all parts of the UK.
Andy Boyle, Partner at RoQ Recruitment, noted that “any positive reform to flexible worker’s rights is welcomed. Clarity, transparency and assistance in ensuring that all flexible workers receive the same employment rights as their permanent counterparts is a huge step forward. Recognizing the contribution that flexible workers provide our economy is a positive step forward and highly welcomed.”
If you have any questions about worker’s rights please get in touch with our team.