Gig economy workers, including workers on zero-hour contracts and agency workers, are to be better protected by the biggest upgrade in workers’ rights in a generation, the Government says.
According to new legislation announced this week, changes include employers no longer being legally authorised to take a proportion of tips left to workers for good service.
The Good Work Plan, part of the modern Industrial Strategy, aims to reinforce the “historic tradition of the UK leading the world in the rights and protections we all benefit from, whether – worker, innovator or business owner.”
It forms part of a major plan to reform employment laws and seeks to clarify the rights of low-paid workers and those in more flexible roles, such as interns, agency workers and those on zero-hour contracts.
As well as a ban on making deductions from staff tips, the Government is proposing a right to request a fixed working pattern for those individuals who do not have zero-hour contracts after 26 weeks of any non-fixed working pattern. Employers will also have to set out the pay and entitlement of individual workers, in writing, on day one of their employment.
Adding to this, agency workers and other staff in more flexible roles, including interns for example, must now be paid the same amount as their permanent counterparts.
Phil Pepper, Employment Law partner at Shakespeare Martineau, comments: “All in all, these proposals do look wide ranging and will shake up employment rights for many individuals. Some of these proposals may not be entirely welcomed by employers in the current economic climate. We are yet to see any draft legislation and dates for implementation, so we may see more details in due course.”
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