Government set to introduce biggest workplace reform in 20 years

News Article

The Government are set to introduce workplace reforms that are likely to offer more protection to employees on zero hour contracts, agency workers or gig economy workers.

Under the new legislation staff will now have to be told details of their rights from the first day in a job, including details for paid and sick leave including maternity and paternity leave.

The reforms come following a review into modern working practices led by the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts Matthew Taylor.

Ministers have said they will accept 51 of the 53 recommendations made by Mr Taylor, in what they claim was the biggest shake-up of workplace rules in 20 years.

New laws will be introduced to ensure workers in seasonal employment get the holiday pay they are entitled to, and companies that breach rules on employee rights will face tougher new penalties.

The maximum fines for bosses who are found to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight will now quadruple, from £5,000 to £20,000.​

A loophole also will be closed that allowed agency staff to be paid less than permanent employees for the same role.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “With new opportunity also comes new challenges and that is why the government asked Matthew Taylor to carry out this first of a kind review, to ensure the UK continues to lead the world, through our modern industrial strategy, in supporting innovative businesses whilst ensuring workers have the rights they deserve.

“This is the largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation, and is a key part of building a labour market that continues to reward people for hard work, celebrates good employers and is boosting productivity and earning potential across the UK.”

Samantha Cass an employment law expert with Palmers, said: “The employment law reforms will help to improve the rights of agency and seasonal workers all over the UK. If you are likely to be affected by any of the reforms, it is important that you seek specialist advice.”

For professional and independent advice on any aspect of employment law, contact our employment team today.