Over half of UK employers unaware of how the Good Work Plan will change their legal obligations

In April 2020, a number of proposed changes in employment will come into effect that British employers must be aware of. The changes, outlined in the government’s Good Work Plan, will give many flexible workers the right to ask for a stable contract, extend the time required to break a period of continuous service, ban employers from making deductions from staff tips, and much more. It all comes on the back of recommendations by Matthew Taylor, who was commissioned by former Prime Minister Theresa May to look at the current labour market and suggest ways in which the government could future-proof the UK employment framework.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published the Good Work Plan in 2018 in response to the Taylor Review, giving employers just under two years to prepare their businesses for the upcoming changes. However, Citation recently surveyed 1,000 decision-makers at companies across the United Kingdom and, with less than six months to go before the proposed laws come into effect, we found that over half of them (59%) are still unaware of what the Good Work Plan even is. Of the decision-makers at British businesses who had heard of the Good Work Plan, 42% only partly understood how it would affect them as well, whilst 11% had heard of the Good Work Plan but did not at all understand how it would affect their obligations.

It is essential that employers in the United Kingdom understand what the Good Work Plan is proposing. It is especially important because one of the key points in the plan is an increase in the maximum penalty that employers can face from a tribunal should there be an “aggravated breach” of the law. Employers could face up to £20,000 in fines if they do not correctly follow the laws when they come into effect on April 2020.

As Gillian McAteer, Head of Employment Law at Citation, says: “The Good Work Plan will affect every business in the country as it brings changes to who employers need to give statements of main terms to, when they give it and what information needs to be provided.”

With the deadline for the introduction of the Good Work Plan fast approaching, Citation acknowledges that the lengthy and complex wording within the published document can be difficult for employers to fully digest. Therefore, we have published our own white paper to simplify the main key changes in the law, allowing employers to grasp how viable their current processes are and better understand the actions they need to make before April 2020. You can download the white paper now, here.

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