The government has announced a number of proposals meant to bring UK employment law into the modern era. The Good Work Plan, if enacted in full, would bring 51 of the Taylor Review’s 53 recommendations on modern working practices into law, with a particular focus on the ‘gig economy’.
Clarity of Employment Status
‘Detailed proposals’ around how to align the status of an individual with their tax and employment rights have also been announced. In the UK, it is an individual’s employment status that determines which statutory employment rights apply and how much tax is required to be paid.
The government plan to clamp down on businesses which ‘misclassify and mislead’ people about their employment status. A change in the way that people choose to work in the modern era has resulted in an increase of self-employed workers in the economy. The broad aim is to end any anomalies which see some individuals taxed as self-employed but entitled to holiday pay and other worker rights.
Employers will be ‘named and shamed’ if fine is not paid
The maximum employment tribunal fines for employers demonstrated to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight will jump from £5,000 to £20,000. This follows government findings that employers were acting improperly by not paying awards set by a tribunal, behaviour which they said was ‘unacceptable and must end’. Employers who are avoiding paying their Employment Tribunal awards will now be named.
Currently, the fundamental way in which the government identify these employers is by using the BEIS penalty scheme, unless the worker opts out. Employers can avoid being named by paying the outstanding award as and when prompted. If no payment or strong representation is made, the government will include them in a list for publication.
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