Employment Status – Uber has been given leave to appeal the finding of worker status to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Government responded to recommendations on employment status in the Taylor Review (an independent review of modern working practices) in its ‘Good Work Plan’, stating that it will legislate to improve clarity in this area. However, so far no concrete proposals have emerged.
Good Work Plan – The Good Work Plan published by Government in December 2018 was announced as the ‘biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years’. Infact the changes actually introduced are relatively minor and discrete. They include, the right to a written statement of terms from day one (rather than within 2 months of starting employment) and the abolition of the Swedish derogation (a loophole which allows agencies to avoid matching pay for agency workers), both of which come into force in April 2020. The more far-reaching proposals, such as clarity on employment status, the right for atypical workers (eg, zero hour workers) to request a more stable and predictable contract after 26 weeks and enhancing tribunal powers of enforcement and sanctions for non paying employers, are subject to further consultation and contain little detail. Given the continued focus on Brexit, employment law reform is likely to be a long way down the Government’s agenda.
Brexit – We might have hoped that by this point we would have some clarity on what happens to our EU based employment laws going forward. Unfortunately, with only 2 months to go until our departure from the EU, we still do not know what Brexit will look like and therefore what will happen to our EU derived laws. However, whatever form Brexit takes, it does not appear that there will be any major changes to employment law on the near horizon.