Several draft statutory instruments have been introduced to implement some of the changes set out in the Government's recent Good Work Plan.
Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
Currently a written statement of particulars of employment is required to be given by the employer to the employee not later than two months after the beginning of the employment. These Regulations change the law so that the right applies when an individual begins employment (a day 1 right).
The Regulations also amend the Working Time Regulations 1998 to change the reference period that applies for calculating an average week’s pay where a worker has variable remuneration, either because there are normal working hours but the remuneration varies with the amount of work done or the time the work is done, or because the worker does not have normal working hours. Where a worker has been employed by their employer for at least 52 weeks, the reference period is increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Where a worker has been employed by their employer for less than 52 weeks, the reference period is the number of weeks for which the worker has been employed.
Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019
These Regulations abolish the Swedish derogation, which currently allows an employer not to pay an agency worker the same rate of pay as a permanent employee where a permanent contract of employment is entered into between a temporary work agency and the agency worker, and a minimum amount of pay is paid to the agency worker between assignments.
Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019
These Regulations make three main changes:
- They increase the maximum level of penalty available from £5,000 to £20,000 for aggravated breach of a worker’s employment rights.
- They confer the right to a written statement of particulars of employment and associated enforcement provisions on all workers (currently this right applies only to employees).
- They lower the percentage required for a valid employee request for the employer to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting its employees. The threshold is reduced from 10% to 2% of the total number of employees employed by the employer.