Over half of UK businesses are unaware of employment law changes, says HR experts

In five months’ time, employers will have to adhere to new employment laws proposed in the government’s Good Work Plan. However, the majority of UK businesses are completely unaware that these laws are due to come into effect.

A survey by Citation, conducted via OnePoll, has found that 59% of British employers do not even know about the Good Work Plan, which proposes a variety of law changes that will come into effect in April 2020.

Of the decision-makers at British businesses who had heard of the Good Work Plan, 42% of them only partly understood how it would affect them whilst 11% had heard of it but did not know how it would change their legal obligations.

The Good Work Plan proposes a number of employment law changes, including: Giving flexible workers the right to ask for a stable contract; extending the time required to break a period of continuous service; and banning employers from making deductions from staff tips.

If employers remain unaware in the run-up to 6 April 2020, businesses could find themselves facing fines of up to £20,000 from employment tribunals, as the government will be legislating to make this the maximum penalty for “aggravated breaches”.

Gillian McAteer, head of employment law at Citation, said: “The Good Work Plan will affect every business in the country as it brings changes to who employers need to give statements of main terms to, when they give it and what information needs to be provided.”

The former Prime Minister, Theresa May, commissioned Matthew Taylor to conduct a review of the UK employment framework. He made many recommendations about ways in which the government could future-proof the labour market given the rise of freelance work, self-employment and the gig economy. The Good Work Plan proposes a number of employment law changes based on Matthew Taylor’s recommendations.

Citation helps small and medium-sized businesses with HR, employment and health & safety support and expertise. Since 1996, Citation has taken care of the messy, complicated bits of running a business for over 35,000 clients, allowing them to focus on their business ambitions. Citation has published a white paper simplifying the Good Work Plan for businesses.