The Voice of SME's in Engineering


‘…the biggest shake-up of employment law in a generation.’

A significant number of changes are due to come into effect on the fast-approaching date of April 6 2020; these are part of abroader programme of employment law reforms that the government is currently rolling out, known as the Good Work Plan.

The aim of the reforms is not to restrict flexibility for employers, as this seen as key for businesses. However, they seek to provide much greater clarity on the terms of engagement and aim to make it easier for individuals to understand and enforce their rights.

EIA partner, Citation, carried out research finding that one-third of employers are still unaware of the Good Work Plan and many are not prepared for the changes.

So what do EIA members and those in the sector need to know?

Though The Good Work Plan is a complex programme of reforms, the three key changes will concern:

  • Written statement of particulars of employment for all workers from day one;

  • An increase in the holiday pay calculation period;

  • And increased protection for agency workers.

In terms of holiday pay, the method for calculating entitlements to those working variable hours will change significantly from taking an average of the previous 12 weeks worked to calculating the average over the previous 52 weeks worked.

Another significant change set out in the reforms is allowing some workers the right to request a stable contract.

This will not be mandatory, as the government recognises that some people are happy to work varied hours each week and so will be able to continue doing so. However, those who would like more certainty about their hours will be able to request a fixed working pattern from their employer. Although we do not yet have an implementation date for this, this change was a significant feature in the new Employment Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The reforms also aim to improve the enforcement of employment rights (especially holiday entitlement and pay), by introducing state enforcement of these rights for ‘vulnerable workers’ (yet to be defined).

The Good Work Plan itself is complicated and confusing. Managers and employers in the sector wishing to know more should download the white paper produced by Citation’s Hr & Employment Law experts.

Defining employment status

The key issue at the heart of upcoming changes is how to start working out the employment status of those working for you, as this governs employment rights.

Though there is no sign of this on the horizon, the government has conceded that this is an area of unacceptable uncertainty and has promised legislation to clarify this.

For example, an individual might start working for an engineering business on a casual basis (e.g. as a subcontractor or similar). However, through regular use, they may have become integrated with the business, to such an extent that they would be classed as employees or workers (with the additional rights this entails).

Available HR & Employment Law support from Citation

If you’ve got any questions, call Citation’s friendly experts today on 0345 844 1111 or get in touch herejust mention you’re from Engineering Industries Association when enquiring.

With complex legislation change on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to consider getting the complete backing of HR experts.

EIA members are also entitled to preferential rates on Citation’s HR offering, 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

To book a free consultation or find out more about your member benefit, click here or call 0345 844 1111 to chat about your requirements.