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New Good Work Plan (GWP) consultations published

New Good Work Plan (GWP) consultations publish

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published further consultations on the GWP.

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KPMG in the UK

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The Government published its GWP in response to the Taylor Review of modern working practices.

The GWP set out a number of proposed changes to employment law, with consultation exercises to follow on the detail of proposed reforms.

BEIS recently published new consultations on:

The government’s response to submissions it received to its consultation on pregnancy and maternity discrimination has also been published.

What do the new consultations cover?

Measures to address one-sided flexibility

This consultation considers proposals put forward by the Low Pay Commission in December 2018 to address the misuse of flexible working arrangements by employers which results in unpredictable working hours, income insecurity and a reluctance among workers to assert basic employment rights.

The consultation invites submissions on:

  • Providing a right to reasonable notice of working hours;
  • Providing workers with compensation for shifts cancelled without reasonable notice; and
  • What guidance might be required to support employers and encourage the sharing of best practice across industries.

This consultation applies to England, Wales and Scotland only, and closes on 11 October 2019.

Establishing a new single enforcement body

Currently, employment rights are enforced by a number of bodies with differing geographical coverage throughout the UK (e.g. HMRC enforces the national minimum wage on a UK wide basis, whilst the Equality and Human Rights Commission polices discriminatory employment practices in England, Wales and Scotland).

This consultation considers whether a single body should be established in order to improve the enforcement of employment rights for vulnerable workers, and level the playing field for employers by ensuring even enforcement of all relevant obligations.

Any new body would also enforce holiday pay for vulnerable workers and regulate umbrella companies.

This consultation closes on 6 October 2019.

Proposals to support families

This consultation covers three areas:

  • Options for reforming existing entitlements to parental leave and pay to help parents balance parental leave between them;
  • Proposals for a new neonatal care leave and pay entitlement for parents; and
  • Whether employers should be required to assess and advertise whether a job can be performed flexibly, and whether organisations with 250 or more employees should be required to publish their family related leave and pay, and flexible working, policies.

This consultation applies to England, Wales and Scotland only.

The parts of the consultation concerning neonatal leave and pay, and transparency on flexible working and family related policies, close on 11 October 2019.

The part of the consultation which deals with parental leave and pay closes on 29 November 2019.

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

In response to this consultation, the government proposes to extend:

  • The redundancy protection period to 6 months once a new mother has returned to work;
  • The same protection to those on adoption leave; and
  • Redundancy protection for those returning from shared parental leave (a further consultation will be held on this new protection).

What happens next?

Employers should review these consultations and consider the potential impact of the proposed reforms on their operations and people strategies.

KPMG will respond to each of these consultations, and will keep you up to date on developments. Please contact us if you have any points you would like us to consider including in our submissions.

If you have any queries, please get in touch with your normal contact or e-mail or employersclub@kpmg.co.uk.

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