Currently there are four pieces of legislation that have been agreed by parliament and one has already come in to force this April 2019.
The UK labour market is adapting and while the government wants to embrace change and recognises the strength of the UK’s flexible workforce, it also has a keen eye on workers’ rights. These dynamics led to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, and four further consultations into employment status, increasing transparency, agency workers and enforcement. Coupled with this, the Prime Minister has also given assurances that workers’ rights are not watered down when the UK leaves the EU with a commitment to debate any EU legislation on this issue in parliament.
In 2018 the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark presented a paper to parliament that will have an impact on recruiters and how they work, this is the government’s Good Work Plan. This work puts forward a vision for the future of the UK labour market, which “rewards people for hard work, that celebrates good employers and that is ambitious about boosting productivity and earning potential in the UK”.
In it, the government commits to a wide range of policy and legislative changes to ensure that workers can access fair and decent work so that both employers and workers have the clarity they need to understand their employment relationships, and that the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose.
There are also a number of potential legislative changes that may come into practice from the Good Work Plan, we have highlighted things to watch out for in our below blog.
Further likely legislation includes a definition of umbrella companies, legislation to clarify and align employment and tax status, the right to request a more stable and predictable contract and recommendations to tackle ‘one-sided flexibility'.
The government has promised to work closely with business, employers and those representing them to implement the changes and we plan to represent the interests of our members to ensure that implementation of any legislation is fit for purpose.
The five principles of Good Work
Whilst Matthew Taylor recognised the value of flexible working, he was critical of “one-sided flexibility” in the labour market, where some businesses have transferred too much business risk to the individual agency or gig economy workers, sometimes at the detriment of their financial security and personal well-being.
But good, quality work means different things to different people. Some value flexibility, for others it's higher pay, or the opportunity to progress.
To reflect this, the government’s approach follows five principles.
You can read further details on what you need to know and the principles explained in our blog 'The Good Work Plan - here's what you need to know'.