A leading Warrington employment lawyer is urging employers and workers to take note of workplace reforms, which the government intends to introduce in the not-too-distant future.
Details of The Good Work Plan, described as the largest reform in workers’ rights in more than a generation, were revealed by business secretary Greg Clark MP.
Changes to be expected include increased fines for employers and more rights for workers.
And Latham Parry, partner and head of employment law at Warrington-based Watsons Solicitors, which represents both employees and employers, said: “The reforms reflect the changing nature of the modern workplace, and form a key part of the Government’s modern industrial strategy. This strategy is aimed at boosting productivity and by backing businesses to create good jobs and increasing the earning power of people across the UK.
“What this means for employers and employees is that more focus is being placed on fair treatment of workers.
“For example, The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 comes into force on 6 April 2020. This legislation provides that written particulars of the main terms of employment – such as details of salary, job title, place of work etc. – must be given from the first day of employment. Currently, employers have up to two months to provide this information in writing.
“Other legislation will be introduced and many changes are intended to come into force on 6 April 2020. Key proposals include:
- Changing how a week’s pay for holiday pay is calculated. It increases the reference period for variable pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
- Changing the law in relation to continuity of employment, so that a gap of up to four weeks (instead of one) will not break continuity of service.
- Importantly for the gig economy, ensuring that workers, not just employees, receive their rights to a written statement of terms and conditions on day one.”
And Latham, who has more than a decade of experience in employment law and joined Watsons as a partner in 2015, also pointed out that financial penalties for an employer’s breach of employment rights with aggravating features is set to increase.
He added: “The maximum employment tribunal fines for employers who have been proven to show malice, spite, or gross oversight in breaching employment rights will be £20,000, up from £5,000.
“It’s vital that employers seek advice from a professional to ensure they do not inadvertently fall foul of the new legislation. Taking advice now, and ensuring that suitable contracts are already in place, will stand employers in good stead for the forthcoming changes.
“Workers should also know their rights to ensure they are not purposely or accidently treated unfairly or unlawfully.”
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