Ministers publish legislation to upgrade workers' rights

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The government has published new employment legislation introducing rights for all workers to request a more predictable and stable contract, in a bid to provide more financial security for those on flexible contracts.

The ‘Good Work Plan’ has confirmed that the government will not introduce a premium wage rate for non-guaranteed hours, as recommended by Matthew Taylor in his government-commissioned review of employment legislation, but will consult on measures to address one sided-flexibility as outlined in a letter from the Low Pay Commission.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK has a labour market of which we can be proud. We have the highest employment rate on record, increased participation amongst historically under-represent groups and wages growing at their fastest pace in almost a decade.

“This success has been underpinned by policies and employment law which strikes an effective balance between flexibility and worker protections but the world of work is changing, bringing new opportunities for innovative businesses and new business models to flourish, creating jobs across the country and boosting our economy.

“With new opportunity also comes new challenges and that is why the government asked Matthew Taylor to carry out this first of a kind review, to ensure the UK continues to lead the world, through our modern Industrial Strategy, in supporting innovative businesses whilst ensuring workers have the rights they deserve.”

The new legislation will be the biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years.

“Today’s largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation is a key part of building a labour market that continues to reward people for hard work that celebrates good employers and is boosting productivity and earning potential across the UK,” Clark added.

Association of Convenience Store chief executive, James Lowman, added: “Convenience stores offer flexible working opportunities, benefitting retailers and the colleagues they employ. It is right that the government focuses on ensuring that employees have absolute clarity on their employment status, benefits and working hours, and we look forward to working with the government as they develop these proposals further.

“Our research shows that colleagues are very positive about working in the convenience sector, with 72% satisfied with their job and more colleagues who have been in the sector for more than five years than there are colleagues who have been with us for less than a year.”

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