Good Work plan fails to stifle criticism

5th March 2018

Understanding your employment mix at work has always been important, and will become ever more important now the government has published its Good Work plan.

Published last week it aims to enforce employment rights from day one in a job, ensuring that all workers including casual and zero-hours workers receive basic rights and payslips and ensuring all workers receive holiday and sick pay. Ultimately guaranteeing all workers rights and the stability of an employment contract will be at the heart of the plan.

But the plan has been criticised since it has failed to look at some of the key issues that have surfaced over the last year regarding the gig economy and false self-employment.

The Good Work plan follows on from the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. Business will need to carefully consider what happens next and understanding which staff are on minimum wage, zero hours and agency workers will become increasingly important.

Importantly the plan outlines how it will deal with those employers who flout regulations, including naming and shaming employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards and a four-fold increase in employment tribunal fines.

Interestingly the report comes hot on the heels of another report form the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) which argues that employers should consider new ways to address low pay, the gender pay gap and rewards, to grow productivity across Britain. Recent research suggest that HR teams are still struggling to understand and analyse their employment mix but for me it all starts with a good HR system, no matter what size of business.

The Fairness, flexibility and affordability report aligns these factors with weakened productivity across the UK when compared with France, Germany and other countries, as employee engagement diminished during the period after the financial crash in 2008. At that point there was an explosion of low cost reward models including zero hours contracts, flexible working and the gig economy, creating slower pay progression, uncertain hours and employment that lacked benefits normally associated with permanent jobs.

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