The Good Work Plan: what do contractors need to know?
The Good Work Plan stems from Matthew Taylors review of 50+ recommendations intended to regulate and improve the UK modern work practices. As of the 6th April 2020, changes will come into effect as a result of this review.
The Good Work Plan focuses on the three major areas, including fair and decent work, clarity for employers and workers as well as fairer enforcement.
What is the Good Work Plan?
Rt Hon Greg Clark presented The Good Work Plan in December 2018. As the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), he announced changes aimed at protecting the rights of workers in the UK, and an aim to fill in any legislative gaps caused by changes to the way we work now.
How will I be affected by the Good Work Plan as a contractor?
Positive changes are on the horizon for most workers. The aim of the Taylor review and subsequent changes outlined in the Good Work Plan sets the scene for a fairer, more transparent workplace.
Of the major changes, many are pertinent to the flexible workforce. For example: the right to request a stable contract (applicable to workers who have completed 26 weeks of continued service); a written statement (which was previously only extended to employees, and now spans to include all workers).
Another change that will potentially impact contractors is a change to the Agency Workers Regulations. The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 introduced in April 2020 repeals regulations 10 and 11. This means that it will no longer be possible to waive the right to equal pay in return for guaranteed pay between assignments. All agency workers that have been on assignment at the same end hirer for 12 weeks will have a right to the same pay as a permanent equivalent that is engaged at the same end hirer.
The right to request a stable contract
The government accepted Matthew Taylor’s recommendations to give workers the right to request a more stable contract after 26 weeks of continued service. This is introduced as a measure to help workers on zero-hour contracts or irregular working patterns to secure regular working hours. This proposed change is still in consultation.
The right to a written statement
The introduction of The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 will see the government extend the right to a written statement of particulars to all workers, not just employees.
Introduction of Key Information Documents
The introduction of Key Information Documents will have a big impact on employment businesses.
The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2019 introduces regulation 13A from 6th April 2020. This new regulation introduces a requirement for employment agencies to provide all work seekers with a Key Information Document (KID), intended to introduce clarity for workers who are sometimes unaware of the deductions that will be made to their pay.
In summary, as a contractor, consultant or freelancer, you will, as of the new tax year, be entitled to the right to request a stable contract as well as the right to a written statement. This will undoubtedly provide great transparency, peace of mind and a fairer working environment to workers.
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