Legal changes that will transform the workplace

It’s hard to imagine, but 2019 may be about to bring even more change to Employment Law. From workers’ rights, to the transformation of tribunal cases – the legal system is continuing to adjust legislations and processes in order to improve the quality of work-life balance for employees. Here are just a few of the recent adaptations:

The Good Work Plan

Back in December 2018, the government announced that it was planning to reform the rights that workers receive. While Brexit seems to have delayed the introduction of this legislation, the plan is looking to be fully incorporated into Employment Law by 2020.

The new rights include such things such as the right to a break in continuous service, the right to request an improved contact and many others. Whilst it will mean big changes to internal processes, the Good Work Plan is in place to help improve the morale of workers, which in turn should positively impact productivity and work ethic.

Holidays

It’s not uncommon that the courts regularly see employees and their bosses debating over who’s right when it comes to holiday pay entitlements. In 2019 we’ll see a huge development into the way that holiday time and pay are calculated. This could provide better clarity to the employee on their work benefits and entitlements by both the employers and their workers knowing clearly what their rights are from the beginning.

Employment Status

After making headlines in 2018, companies such as Uber and Deliveroo, who hire gig-economy or self-employed workers are facing immense scrutiny. The government has committed to becoming clearer when defining job statuses, rights and attributes of all forms of employment. They are also set to release an online tool to assist in making this information easily accessible.

Shared Parental Leave

Since the government’s ‘Share the Joy’ campaign back in 2018, there have been a plethora of discrimination cases where men were arguing for the fairness of shared parental pay. After all, times have changed, and families may require the option to share the load and responsibility when starting or growing a family.

It’s expected that this conversation will continue, and we are already seeing corporations adopting shared parental leave – Deloitte, for example. Legislation, we predict will get clearer towards the end of the year as the government works on potential avenues.

Tax and National Insurance

In connection to employment status’ being looked into, it has also triggered a plan to introduce new tax rules for companies who are using self-employed people, but are paid through a personal service company. The new rules are set to transform the way PAYE is used within these businesses and whilst similar rules already apply for the majority of public sector roles, it’s likely this will be extended into the private sector in 2020.

Employment Tribunals

2017 hosted a huge development in employment tribunals as it saw the removal of court fees. What brought a boom in demand for tribunal claims, also highlighted the shortage of legal court professionals – and they had to address these claims. The legal system is continuing to recruit judges, but a large amount of these cases usually settle. So, could a reform in the abolishment of fees be reviewed?

There are talks of a new fee scheme being developed, but factors will need to be considered. For example, the removal of fees was to give everybody the chance to fight for their rights against an employer. But a reflection shows that a small fee may suffice. This is certainly still a discussion to be made in the future.
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