Good Work Plan – Here’s what employers need to know

Important new changes to employment laws are due to come into force on 6 April 2020. The plans were first revealed in December 2018, when the Government announced proposals for its new Good Work Plan.

The raft of proposed new legislation promises to both increase transparency and strengthen the rights of workers in ‘unsecure’ employment.

But how will the changes affect businesses?

Here is a rundown of how the new Good Work Plan will most affect employers’ practices.

Written contracts of employment

The plan introduces several changes to the rights to receive a written Statement of Main Terms (SMT) with effect from 6 April 2020.

This document includes an employee’s key terms of employment including pay and annual leave entitlement and employers currently have two months to provide it to a new employee. The grace period will be removed meaning the SMT is to be removed so employers will have to give the SMT to the employee no later than the commencement date of employment.

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

  • Duration of and conditions attached to any probationary period
  • All paid leave entitlements
  • All benefits the employee receives
  • An employee’s training entitlement
  • The days of the week the employee is required to work on and whether normal working hours are variable or not. If they are variable, information must be included on how they vary or what determines the variation

Significantly, employers will have to provide an SMT to their ‘workers’, as well as their employees. Currently, only employees are entitled to receive this document, but workers including zero hours workers and casual workers will also be brought within scope.

Holiday Pay

The mandatory reference period for calculating holiday pay will increase.

From 6 April 2020, employers will have to use a reference period of 52 weeks, (instead of the current 12 weeks) when calculating holiday pay for staff whose pay varies, including the zero hours workforce. This calculation method will result in a payment which balances out any peaks and troughs of working hours throughout the year.

Agency Workers

‘Swedish derogation model’ contracts for agency workers will be banned from 6 April 2020. These contracts proceed on the basis of 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 of an assignment.

Those who are currently engaged on these contracts will be entitled to a statement to explain the effect of the ban on their pay. As a separate measure, all agency workers will be entitled to a key facts sheet explaining the details of their payment etc. 

Employment status

The Government has confirmed that the tests used to determine who is an employee, worker or self-employed will be adjusted. The results of this are likely to be that many self-employed individuals will be re-classed as workers.

Right to request stable contracts

Another key change is the introduction of the right to request a more stable contract, which will be available to all workers that have accrued 26 weeks’ service. Workers will be able to request, for example, guaranteed hours or a more stable working pattern and employers will be under a duty to consider it. No implementation date has yet been set for this change.

It is important to be aware that Brexit and a potential General Election may, of course, delay these proposals. At this stage, our advice is to work on the basis of a “be prepared” plan, on the assumption that these proposals come into force in April 2020.

Employment Law Team

What Our Clients Say

Mark Wilson, Streamline Taxis (York) Ltd.

"I find the team at Hethertons very approachable and easy to contact when needed.”
2015-07-10T16:30:14+00:00
"I find the team at Hethertons very approachable and easy to contact when needed.”

Peter Docwra, Managing Director, Ashtons Estate Agents

"My company has used Hethertons HELP package for the last 5 years and have been extremely satisfied with the service we have received. Hethertons team go the extra mile to provide much needed support in respect of all our employment issues. We would recommend them to anyone."
2018-01-15T16:21:24+00:00
"My company has used Hethertons HELP package for the last 5 years and have been extremely satisfied with the service we have received. Hethertons team go the extra mile to provide much needed support in respect of all our employment issues. We would recommend them to anyone."

Caroline Borley, Director, Mat Services Ltd

“Hethertons are a friendly and approachable team. We would strongly recommend them for their very personal service.”
2015-07-10T16:31:24+00:00
“Hethertons are a friendly and approachable team. We would strongly recommend them for their very personal service.”

Joan Stainsby, Executive Trustee, Zoe’s Place Trust Baby Hospice

"The service they provide is efficient, helpful, supportive and above all else they are very approachable.”
2015-07-10T16:31:45+00:00
"The service they provide is efficient, helpful, supportive and above all else they are very approachable.”

Helen Prentice, Director, Keith France Electrical Contractor Ltd

"I would highly recommend Hethertons Solicitors for their professional services to friends, family, colleagues and business associates.”
2015-07-10T16:31:02+00:00
"I would highly recommend Hethertons Solicitors for their professional services to friends, family, colleagues and business associates.”

Mark Gibson and Ben Clowes, Founders and Directors, Bar Lane Studios

"The support we received from Hethertons in the setting up of Bar Lane Studios was second to none and above the call of duty. Their enthusiasm in helping us build a solid basis for serving the local community as a not-for-profit social enterprise and our continuing relationship has demonstrated not only their commitment as professional advisors but also their keenness to be involved in community projects."
2018-01-15T16:38:55+00:00
"The support we received from Hethertons in the setting up of Bar Lane Studios was second to none and above the call of duty. Their enthusiasm in helping us build a solid basis for serving the local community as a not-for-profit social enterprise and our continuing relationship has demonstrated not only their commitment as professional advisors but also their keenness to be involved in community projects."

Colin A Hodgson, Operations Director, C F Stead

"We are extremely pleased that we took your services on board, they have saved us a great deal of time and ensured we have taken the correct decisions in our day to day dealings."
2018-01-15T16:24:10+00:00
"We are extremely pleased that we took your services on board, they have saved us a great deal of time and ensured we have taken the correct decisions in our day to day dealings."

Mr W, York

“The service I recevied could not have been improved upon. Excellent service. Thank you very much.”
2018-03-27T12:25:53+00:00
“The service I recevied could not have been improved upon. Excellent service. Thank you very much.”

Andy Powell

"On a personal level I found Gillian to be friendly and approachable. She was able to demonstrate the necessary legal expertise and knowledge to help speedily resolve my situation, in a way which I felt made a difference to the outcome."
2018-01-15T16:40:47+00:00
"On a personal level I found Gillian to be friendly and approachable. She was able to demonstrate the necessary legal expertise and knowledge to help speedily resolve my situation, in a way which I felt made a difference to the outcome."

Martin Rhodes, Managing Director, White Rose Transport Limited

"I have used them for a range of services and have always found them to be first class and very prompt in their work. They are a very friendly and approachable company and I would not hesitate in recommending them."
2018-01-15T16:35:30+00:00
"I have used them for a range of services and have always found them to be first class and very prompt in their work. They are a very friendly and approachable company and I would not hesitate in recommending them."

Cooper & Westgate

"Thank you for all your help – you and your team are life savers."
2017-01-04T09:07:53+00:00
"Thank you for all your help – you and your team are life savers."

Charles Chisholm, CEO, Future Cleaning Services Ltd

"I would not hesitate to recommend Hethertons Solicitors to anyone.”
2015-07-10T16:32:16+00:00
"I would not hesitate to recommend Hethertons Solicitors to anyone.”

Joan Stainsby, Trustee, Zoes Place Baby Hospice

"Over the last six months we have dealt with a very difficult personnel problem, this was not only stressful but very time consuming. During this time, Hethertons has been very supportive, listened carefully to the problem, then advised a practical method of beginning to resolve the problem. This help and support has been invaluable at no time did we feel just another “HR issue”, we received personal and supportive advice from Hethertons at all times."
2018-01-15T16:36:49+00:00
"Over the last six months we have dealt with a very difficult personnel problem, this was not only stressful but very time consuming. During this time, Hethertons has been very supportive, listened carefully to the problem, then advised a practical method of beginning to resolve the problem. This help and support has been invaluable at no time did we feel just another “HR issue”, we received personal and supportive advice from Hethertons at all times."

Sarah Saville, Owner, Little Acorns Day Nursery

“I am always thoroughly impressed with the service I receive from Hethertons employment team."
2015-07-10T16:30:39+00:00
“I am always thoroughly impressed with the service I receive from Hethertons employment team."