- Closing an existing loophole that allows agency staff to be paid less than full-time employees.
- Increasing the maximum fine for businesses at employment tribunals from ?5,000 to ?20,000 if the employer is found to have shown ?malice, spite or gross oversight?.
- Force employers to calculate holiday pay based on a 52-week year (rather than 12 weeks) to ensure workers in seasonal positions receive fair entitlement.
- Offering unpaid internships? You could be breaking the law
- Can I ban my staff from smoking on their break at work?
- New payslip deadline just months away: Here?s what employers need to know
Don’t over-regulate self-employmentFreelancer body IPSE said it was ?cautiously supportive? the government?s changes to workplace rights, urging the government to not over-regulate self-employment. Andy Chamberlain, IPSE deputy policy director, said the reforms appeared to preserve flexibility while protecting the entrepreneurial spirit of those seeking self-employment. “The overwhelming majority of people actively choose to be self-employed because they value the flexibility of being their own boss,? he said. ?The devil, of course, will be in the detail, and the government must ensure it doesn?t legislate people out of self-employment against their will. ?IPSE will strongly resist any attempt to push all gig workers into the worker category, as this deprives people of the flexibility of being their own boss. ?IPSE also doesn?t want the government to align tax and employment tests, especially if it turns out to be a tax grab dressed up as giving people more rights they don?t necessarily want.??
Don?t muddy already murky IR35 watersContractor tax specialist Qdos broadly welcomed the reforms, but echoed IPSE?s warnings of impeding the wishes of the willing self-employed. Seb Maley, Qdos CEO, said: “The government is right to recognise that gig economy workers need greater protection, but it’s imperative the extension of rights does not impact those who do not want them. “It’s also important these reforms do not muddy the already murky waters around IR35 status and what constitutes as a self-employed individual, a gig economy worker and an employee.” “There’s a difference between those who need protection and those who don’t. For example, when operating outside IR35, contractors, by and large, do not want employment rights. “That said, when working inside IR35 and paying similar taxes to an employee they expect to be offered rights. With further IR35 reform on the horizon, this is something the government must consider.”
“No more leverage than Oliver Twist”Meanwhile, Trade Union Congress (TUC) general secretary, Frances O?Grady, slammed the reforms for failing to offer real protections to workers. “The right to request guaranteed working hours is no right all,? O?Grady said, before warning that zero-hours contracts would never allow room for employment rights. “Zero-hours contract workers will have no more leverage than Oliver Twist,” she added. “Unless unions get the right to organise and bargain for workers in places like Uber and Amazon, too many working people will continue to be treated like disposable labour.?
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