The Good Work Plan – what tech employers need to know.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing about the Good Work plan, what with Brexit dominating the headlines last year when it was announced and now Covid-19 as it came into force in UK Law on 6th April.

The Good Work plan is legislation in response to the worker vs employee employment rights debate. You may remember that at the end of 2019 companies like Uber and Deliveroo got into some hot water at employment tribunals for not affording their drivers the same employment rights as employees.

So as with everything there was a review – the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices that particularly looked at the rise of digital platforms, the implications of new forms of work such as gig-economy jobs, and the impacts of new working models such as the rise of the ‘worker’ vs an employee. The Good Work Plan is legislation based on recommendations that arose from this review.

There are four specific recommendations that cover:

  1. the rights of agency workers,
  2. the employment status of workers,
  3. increased transparency in the labour market,
  4. the enforcement of these employment rights and recommendations.

It’s the Government’s hope that if these four areas are addressed by employers the job market will be much fairer for agency and contract workers.

What are the key changes tech employers need to be aware of?

We recommend that you employ an HR person to help you with this, but broadly the main things to be aware of are:

  • All workers need to receive a payslip in the same way as employees;
  • All payslips should include the hours work for all hourly paid staff;
  • Employers now must issue contracts on day one of employment – historically you had two months to issue a contract of employment but now you must do this on the employee or workers first day;
  • Employment contracts now must include more detail around:
    • the specific days of the week to be worked and the typical working arrangements for casual staff;
    • entitlements to paid leave like maternity and family leave
    • any benefits that are offered above statutory
    • details of any probationary period
    • details of any training that is either required or provided.

Crucially all of these requirements apply to workers as well as employees, and not observing them is a breach of your legal duty as an employer. While tribunals are very unlikely it’s important to be aware that in 2019 the maximum penalty an employment tribunal can impose for ‘aggravated breaches of employment law’ increased from £5,000 to £20,000 to encourage employers to take these duties more seriously.

If you’d like any more information about on-boarding a new employee, please do get in touch by calling us on 020 3917 0790 or signup as an employer on our app.