Increased rights for agency and zero-hours workers

The ‘Good Work Plan’ aims to address the rights of those with atypical worker statuses, such as agency workers and those on zero-hours contracts.

The government has confirmed its intention to increase employment rights for millions of workers in its ‘Good Work Plan’ (“the Plan”). The Plan has been developed as a response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, published in July 2017 and it aims to address the rights of those with atypical worker statuses, such as agency workers and those on zero-hours contracts.

The proposed reforms will see the repeal of legislation allowing agency workers to be paid less than permanent staff, an increase in the period required to break continuity of employment for the purpose of accruing employment rights from one week to four weeks and all workers having the right to a written statement of their rights from day one, setting out, amongst other things, sick pay and maternity entitlement.

The Plan also details measures to tighten up on the enforcement of worker rights. Fines against employers that have exhibited malice, spite or gross oversight in breaching employment rights could be up to £20,000 (this is quadruple the current maximum) and new powers will be created to impose penalties on employers breaching employment agency legislation such as non-payment of wages. More resources are set to be allocated to the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and plans for a single enforcement body to help protect vulnerable workers have been brought forward to early 2019.

The government has also set out its intention to introduce legislation clarifying the test for employment status, which is the basis for determining eligibility for various worker rights. This looks likely to follow the Taylor Review’s suggestion that the differences between employment status tests should be reduced to an absolute minimum.

These changes have the potential to go some way to bringing employment law in line with modern working practices. However, there is currently no timetable for most of these reforms so it is likely to be some time before we are able to assess their impact. 


If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or an Employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Cook on 01727 798098.

Read the latest Employment Views & Insights
They seek to understand their clients and advise accordingly to achieve the outcomes that they require for their business needs.
Chambers and Partners
SA Law Work Life red mug and glasses
SA Law - Lightbulbs image with fillament
Views & Insights
Holiday Pay for Part Year Workers

Under the Working Time Regulations, the 5.6 weeks’ annual leave entitlement must not be pro-rated for part-year workers on permanent contracts.

Read More
Red and yellow leaves, blue sky SA Law
Views & Insights
Why does employment status matter?

How do you know if your staff are employees, workers or self-employed, and what difference does it make?

Read More
SA Law light moving
Views & Insights
What directors can learn from the collapse of NMCN

CFOs and other directors can use the collapse of NMCN to put their own house in order and help ward of the impact of recessionary forces.

Read More
Phone Box with Man in a Bowler Hat
As there is so much expertise on offer from SA Law they can provide a legal expert on all areas so that it can be handled under one roof.
Legal 500
Join our team puzzle piece SA Law
Views & Insights
SA Law expands employment team

SA Law is proud to welcome James Cresswell and Stephanie Clarke to its employment team, bringing the team size up to seven qualified lawyers.

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Insolvency insights - the NMCN collapse

Insolvency solicitor, Helen Young and employment lawyer Nishma Chudasama consider what accountants can learn from the failure of NMCN.

Read More
SA Law Changes Clock
Views & Insights
Trialling the 4-day working week

70 businesses are taking part in a 4-day working week trial, for no loss of pay. What could this mean for employers, employees and customer service?

Read More
GDPR Numbers Image SA Law
Views & Insights
The Future of Data Protection in the UK

'UK GDPR' - What is the Data Reform Bill?

Read More
They are knowledgeable, with a commercial mindset, but also down to earth and friendly so it is easy to be very honest with them.
Chambers and Partners

© SA LAW 2022

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.