Earlier this month the government announced a series of measures to enhance workers’ rights around tipping, flexibility in the workplace and transparency on parental pay.

In the first instance, it announced plans to ensure that tips left for workers go to them in full. Whilst acknowledging that most employers act in good faith, the government argued that in some sectors there was evidence of “poor tipping practices”, including excessive deductions being made from tips left by customers.

It has now promised to introduce legislation “at the earliest opportunity” to ensure that tips go to the workers providing the service.

Reflecting a concern that some employees face barriers when requesting to work flexibly, the government has also announced an intention to create a duty on employers to consider whether a job can be done flexibly.

The duty would include a requirement to make that flexibility clear when advertising for the post. The aim is to help people with caring responsibilities balance their work and home lives more easily and ensure that they can continue working.

Finally, the government has committed to consulting on requiring employers with more than 250 staff to publish their parental leave and pay policies, so job applicants can make informed decisions about whether they can combine the role with caring for their family.

While many employers go further than the legal minimum for parental leave and pay, the government points out that very few publish their policies openly. In those circumstances, applicants have to ask prospective employers what the position is which many are reluctant to do for fear of discrimination.

Neil Todd of Thompsons Solicitors commented: “These reforms, whilst welcome, are really only “skirting at the edges” and do not go anywhere near far enough to address the concerns of UK workers. What is required are substantive reforms to address the issues of low pay, insecure working conditions and inflexible working practices in the workplace”. 

The announcement in full is available on the government website.