The European Court has upheld the long-standing principle that parties to a dispute should be able to choose their lawyers without having to go through a tender process (or use a framework).
Just when we thought that all news is Brexit news, the Government publishes its proposals for the modern workplace, its ‘vision for the future of the UK labour market’. For those feeling particularly “Scrooge-like” this festive season, the absence of any draft legislation or proposed time frame is disappointing – although the BBC and the Financial Times gave us all a fright by announcing the changes were effective from this week!
When will the changes be introduced?
We have contacted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) who confirmed that from today, they would start to work on the legislation to implement the proposed changes.
BEIS said, “We will work closely with businesses to help them prepare for these measures coming into force. All measures, aside from increasing the aggravated breach penalty, are due to come into force in April 2020, to allow employers sufficient time to adapt. The aggravated breach penalty increase will come into force in April 2019.”
What are the key proposed changes?
Here is what is in the Government’s stocking of promises and proposals:
Package one – Changes to one-sided flexibility
- Zero-hours workers will be able to request, after 26 weeks of service, a more fixed working pattern. There are no further details as to reasons for refusal or how long this process will last – commentators have noted that it might be like the right to request flexible working;
- New rules relating to continuity of employment – legislation will introduce a change so that a break of up to four weeks in employment with the same employer will not break continuity; and
- The abolition of contracts whereby agency workers are put on contracts where they opt out of equality of pay with their permanent colleagues in return for payment between contracts – known in some circles as “The Swedish Derogation”.
Package two – Quality of work
- Employers will no longer be able to deduct monies from staff tips; and
- Employees will have the right to set up information and consultation agreements where there are 15 employees or more where 2% of the workforce agree, previously 15% of the workforce had to agree.
Package three – Clarity for workers
- Legislation to assist with identifying employment status aligning the employment and tax frameworks, focusing on the control test and improved guidance and online tools. It is anticipated that this will make it easier for individuals to argue that they are employees rather than workers or self-employed.
Package four – Clarity of information
- All workers will have the right to a written statement of particulars (i.e. contract of employment) from day one of their employment – currently, this does not have to be issued for 12 weeks;
- All agency workers are to be given a Key Facts Page from the employment business; and
- The holiday pay reference period when calculating holiday pay for irregular pattern workers will be extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks to make it fairer, in particular, for seasonal workers.
Package five – Fairer enforcement
- There will be additional penalties (up to £20,000 for an aggravated breach, an increase from the previous limit of £5,000) for employers who breach their obligations to employees.
Do keep an eye out for future briefings as and when we receive draft legislation and proposed time frame.
For more information
If you require any assistance with your workforce arrangements, please get in touch with your usual contact in our Employment Team, or you can select a sector to find out more about our employment work.
On 8 July, news broke of the staggering fine of more than £183m the ICO intended to levy against British Airways as a result of a hack that took place in 2018, compromising 500,000 customers' data.
The Government has been refused permission to appeal a decision ruling that transitional arrangements in public sector pension schemes are discriminatory.
The Lifeline Project was a well-regarded charity. Failure to carry out the targets within the contracts led the charity into insolvency and resulted in a personal, 7-year disqualification order.
Many local authorities have assessed that a trading subsidiary or trading structure could be beneficial as part of generating income or the service delivery matrix.
On 23 July, trainees from Anthony Collins Solicitors will host an ‘experience day’, which will involve various activities and presentations, with lawyers and non-lawyers from across the firm.
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has launched a new scheme specifically for charities and not-for-profit organisations who want to advise EU citizens on UK settlement.
In the second part of our series on contract management pitfalls, we look at the risks and opportunities presented by payment mechanisms in construction contracts.
The Government has resurrected its plans to cap the termination payments for exiting employees in the public sector.
Under most construction contracts, the contractor takes on the ground conditions risk. However, a recent case has demonstrated that the risk can fall on the employer.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.