Russell Dann comments in Personal Today on the omission of the long-awaited Employment Bill in this year’s Queen’s Speech.
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Russell Dann outlines recent developments and issues to watch out for.
Zero Hours Contracts
One of the biggest proposed changes expected from the Bill was the right for workers on zero-hours arrangements to request a more predictable contract that more accurately reflected the hours they actually work.
Any employer refusing to change the contract would have to justify its decision and workers would have the right to challenge that decision at an employment tribunal.
Gig economy rights
In terms of defining workers’ rights in the gig economy, the Supreme Court has stepped in to protect vulnerable workers with its judgment that Uber drivers are entitled to rights such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage.
In assessing the state of employment rights in the UK, it is equally important to look beyond the shelved Bill and to take into account new protections that have been introduced. The issue attracting the most attention is probably ‘fire and rehire’.
Health and safety
The pandemic has quite rightly brought workplace health and safety to greater prominence, and there is one significant protection that previously applied only to those with “employee” status that has now been extended to cover all workers.
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