As of April 6, all workers (as opposed to just employees) have the right to start receiving a payslip, including those on casual and zero-hour contracts.
As a result, 300,000 workers who previously did not receive a payslip will now be entitled to do so. The slip must also contain information showing how many hours the worker worked that week so that they can ensure they are being paid in full and at the correct rate. Workers who believe their payslip is inaccurate should contact ACAS on 0300 123 1100.
Other measures, which are effective from April 2020, are as follows:
- about 1.5 million people will get the day one entitlement to receive a statement of rights setting out leave entitlements and pay
- up to 120,000 agency workers will be able to benefit from the scrapping of the Swedish Derogation, which represents an end to the legal loophole which enabled some firms to pay agency workers less than permanent staff
- new agency workers will also benefit from a key facts page before signing up with an agency, which will provide clarity, particularly around their pay
- although employees already have a legal right to make a request to be informed and consulted about issues at work, the threshold for them to request these arrangements will be reduced from ten per cent to two per cent.
As well as the right to mandatory pay slips, this first tranche of workplace reforms, collectively known as the Good Work Plan (the government’s response to the Independent Taylor Review of modern working practices) increases the penalty that tribunals can apply for the government to claim back against employers who have demonstrated malice, spite or gross oversight from £5,000 to £20,000.
The government also launched a new advertising campaign this month to raise awareness of the National Living and Minimum wages rates.
Iain Birrell, of Thompsons Solicitors, commented: "The expansion of these rights is welcomed, although enforcement of them remains a challenge for many. Of those the abolition of the Swedish Derogation is particularly welcome as that was always a loophole to defeat the aim of the law protecting agency staff. The pity is that it has taken so long, but it is better late than never.
"The increase of penalties that can be applied to employers is welcome, but this initiative in general needs much improvement. These penalties are very rarely awarded and even when they are, none of the money received goes to the employee affected, making it an ineffective tool to use on behalf of claimants".
The Good Work Plan can be read on the government's website.
Thompsons' response to the Good Work Plan can be read here.