Good Work Plan: Government consults on measures to address one-sided flexibility

2 mins

Posted on 29 Jul 2019

The Government is consulting on the Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) proposals for tackling the problem of one-sided flexibility identified in the Taylor Review. This is where workers have unpredictable working hours resulting in an insecure income.

What is the LPC proposing in regards to workers contracts? 

It will introduce a right after 26 weeks’ service for workers to switch to a contract reflecting their normal working hours. It will give strong consideration to the LPC’s recommendation that an employer would be able to refuse a request if

  • This would go against terms agreed through collective bargaining 
  • There is no evidence that the worker worked the hours claimed
  • It would cause significant adverse change to the business
  • There are exceptional, unforeseen or emergency circumstances
  • Average hours worked were affected by a temporary situation which no longer exists     

The Government agrees with the LPC that workers should be able to enforce the right through employment tribunals.

The Government also seeks views on:

  • Requiring employers to give workers reasonable notice of their working hours. It asks what reasonable notice might be, whether this should vary depending on the industry concerned, whether this should be a day one right, how notice should be given and what the penalty should be for non-compliance      
  • Requiring employer to compensate workers if they cancel their shift or reduce their hours without reasonable notice. It asks employers why they cancel shifts at short notice, what notice they typically give and whether they compensate the workers.  It seeks views on the appropriate level of compensation for last minute changes, whether the right to reasonable notice of cancellation should be a day one right, what reasonable notice would be, whether employers in all sectors should have to pay compensation and whether only workers at a certain income level or on certain contracts, such as zero-hours, should be compensated.   

The consultation closes on 11 October 2019.

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