The government’s Good Work Plan is an extensive programme of employment law reforms, which have been described as ‘the biggest shake-up of employment law in a generation’. They have come about in response to the considerable growth in the use of flexible working and self-employment arrangements.
Flexibility is still seen as key for businesses and won’t be restricted, but the changes aim to make it easier for individuals to understand and enforce their rights and provide more clarity on the terms of engagement.
Many of these reforms will come into effect on April 6 2020. But research recently published by KiCA partner, Citation, has indicated that one-third of employers are still unaware of the Good Work Plan.
Though every single sector in the UK will be affected, they will have a significant impact on the care sector. Through our partnership with KiCA, it’s Citation mission to ensure members feel prepared for the changes and are aware of available support.
So what do KiCA members need to know?
Many individuals working in the care sector will work hours that differ every week and not have a stable contract; the Skills For Care Report published in October 2018 indicated that one-quarter of carers are currently on a zero-hour contract.
A key aim of the Good Work Plan is to address employment rights for those working without employee status and for workers without fixed hours.
The changes seek to improve the enforcement of employment rights – especially pay and holiday entitlement – by introducing state enforcement of these rights for ‘vulnerable workers’ (yet to be defined).
Due to a series of court decisions on overtime and commission payments in recent years, the rules on what should be included in holiday pay have changed.
The upcoming changes will extend the right to a statutory statement of main terms to all workers, requiring this to be made available by the first day of work, as well as introducing a list of additional information which must be provided.
A notable change in the reforms is allowing some workers the right to request a stable contract. From April 2020, carers who would like more certainty about their hours will be able to request a fixed working pattern from their employer. However, individuals who are happy to work varied hours each week will be able to continue doing so.
Citation appreciates that The Good Work Plan is confusing and complex. Managers and employers in the social care sector wishing to know more should download the white paper, produced by their HR and employment law experts. It clarifies all the major changes and what they mean for both employers and employees.
Defining employment status
At the heart of these changes is the issue of correctly identifying the employment status of those who work for your business, as this governs employment rights.
The government concedes that this is an area of unacceptable uncertainty and has promised legislation to clarify this (though there is no sign of this on the horizon).
Many employers in the care sector may find that individuals who start working for them on a casual basis may, through regular use, have become integrated with the business to such an extent that they would be classed as employees, with the additional rights this entails.
Got any questions about how you’ll be affected?
For all your questions about The Good Work Plan, call Citation’s friendly experts today on 0345 844 1111 and they’ll be happy to help, or get in touch here – just mention you’re a member of KiCA when enquiring.
Plus, for more content that breaks down the different elements of The Good Work Plan, you can also visit citation.co.uk/good-work-plan. It hosts best practice advice and guidance, such as a video on defining employment status and an article summarising the upcoming changes.
Your KiCA member benefit
With complex legislation change on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to consider getting the complete backing of HR experts.
Kent Integrated Care Alliance members are entitled preferential rates on Citation’s HR service, including:
- Dedicated local consultant
- 24-hour expert advice line
- Full legal documentation, including staff handbooks and contracts of employment
- Access to Atlas, your one-stop-shop HR management tool
Please get in touch by calling 0345 844 1111, or by leaving your details here – just mention you’re from KiCA when enquiring.