Modern working rights for a modern UK

 

When the Taylor Review was published back in July 2017, we wondered what hard-line actions would come from it. Just seven months on and we’re seeing evidence of the government’s response. It comes in the shape of the ‘Good work plan’ and strives to address the challenges of the changing world in the modern economy.

It’s also part of the government’s industrial strategy which aims to build a Britain that’s fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher paying jobs in every part of the UK.

The government’s proposals should allow millions to benefit from enhanced rights.

Taken from gov.uk, here are the proposed steps.

“The government will seek to protect workers’ rights by:

  • take further action to ensure unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker;
  • introducing a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards
  • quadrupling employment tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000 and considering increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases

The government will ensure workers are paid fairly by:

  • providing all 1.2 million agency workers with a clear breakdown of who pays them and any costs or charges deducted from their wages
  • asking the Low Pay Commission to consider the impact of higher minimum wage rates for workers on zero-hour contracts
  • considering repealing laws allowing agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates

The government will increase transparency in the business environment by:

  • defining ‘working time’ for flexible workers who find jobs through apps or online so they know when they should be being paid
  • launching a task force with business to promote awareness and take-up of the right to request flexible working introduced in 2014
  • making sure new and expectant mothers know their workplace rights and raise awareness amongst employers of their obligations
  • launching a new campaign to encourage more working parents to share childcare through Shared Parental Leave – a right introduced in 2015”

And, for the first time, the government will be accountable for good quality work as well as the quantity of jobs. How? Well, for example, when agreeing new sector deals with industry, the government will encourage employers to show how they are investing in their workforces to improve productivity. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will also work with labour market experts, trade unions and the business community to measure the standards of quality work established in the Taylor Review.

The Prime Minister said, “We recognise the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business.

“We are proud to have record levels of employment in this country but we must also ensure that workers’ rights are always upheld.

“Our response to this report will mean tangible progress towards that goal as we build an economy that works for everyone.”

It’s a promising start. And, certainly, encouraging news for the millions of employees who choose flexible working. Now, it’s a case of seeing it being put into practice. 

 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

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