The Good Work Plan

From 6 April 2020, several legislations are coming into force under the Good Work Plan.

Assure HR have updated all of the downloadable templates in light of these changes, which can be purchased from the ‘Downloads’ section of our website:

We are also working with clients to tailor documents such as letters, contracts, policies and forms to ensure they remain compliant in light of these changes.

Changes taking effect on 6 April 2020:

  • Consultation rights threshold reduction (ICE Regulations 2004)
  • Holiday pay reference periods
  • Right to Written Statement of the Main Terms (SMT)
  • Agency workers
  • Parental bereavement leave

Consultation Rights Threshold Reduction

From 6 April 2020, under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004, the threshold for making a valid request to set up information and consultation arrangements drops from 10% to the 2% of the workforce.

These regulations give employees the right to be informed and consulted about issues in the organisation.

This arrangement only comes into force if requested by 15 or more employees (or 10% of the workforce). The regulations currently apply to business with 50 or more employees only.

Holiday Pay Reference Periods

From 6 April, the mandatory reference period for calculating holiday pay has increased.  Companies will be required to use a reference period of 52 weeks, instead of 12 weeks, when calculating holiday pay for staff who work irregular hours and thus have different rates of pay.

Written Statement of the Main Terms (SMT)

The plan introduces several changes to the right to receive a written statement of main terms (SMT). This document lists all the employee’s key terms of employment, including pay and annual leave entitlements, and up until now organisations have had two months to provide it to a new employee. This grace period has now been removed, meaning the SMT will have to be given to the employee from day one of their employment.

In addition, more details now have to be included in the SMT, as follows:

  • the terms and conditions relating to work have been extended to cover terms relating to normal hours of work, days of the week the worker will be required to work and whether these days/hours may vary
  • terms relating to other forms of paid leave such as family-friendly leave
  • details of other employee benefits, not just those relating to pay, such as benefits in kind or financial benefits
  • terms relating to probationary periods including those in relation to length and conditions
  • details of training provision and requirements.

Employers must now provide an SMT to their ‘workers’, as well as their employees.

Agency Workers

‘Swedish derogation model’ contracts for agency workers are now banned. These contracts offered a legal loophole to avoid the requirement to pay agency workers the same basic pay as direct recruits at the hirer organisation after 12 weeks on assignment. Those who are currently engaged on these contracts are now also entitled to a statement to explain the effect of the ban on their pay, which will need to be distributed by no later than 30 April 2020. The site provides a model statement here.

As a separate measure, all agency workers are now entitled to a key facts sheet before they agree to the terms by which they will undertake work. The information required includes the expected minimum rate of pay, any expected deductions from pay and the type of contract the worker will be engaged under. Model statements can be found here.

Parental Bereavement Leave

From 6 April, eligible employees are allowed to take two weeks of leave when they suffer either a still birth after 24 weeks of pregnancy or the death of a child under the age of 18.   This is a day-one right, and allows employees to take these weeks either as one single block of two weeks’ leave, or two separate blocks of one week’s leave.

Additional changes coming into effect with no set date:

  • Employment status frameworks for employment rights and tax
  • Enforcement of statutory holiday pay
  • Right to a more stable contract
  • Break in continuous service

If you have specific questions regarding the Good Work Plan, get in touch with us: