The independent review of modern working practices headed up by Matthew Taylor was published in July 2017. It proposed a number of recommendations on the issues arising from the growth of the “gig economy” – including agency workers. The government responded early in 2018 with ‘The Good Work Plan’ and launched several consultations on how to best implement some of the recommendations set out in the report.

Many of these proposed changes will place a greater administrative burden and compliance risk on employment agencies and end hirers contracting directly with contractors. These include:

  • Enforcement of rules to ensure contractors receive all holiday pay due from an assignment and financial penalties where complaints have been raised.

  • Extension of the reference period over which average pay is calculated for those who have variable working patterns for the purposes of calculating holiday pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

  • Extending the right to receive a written statement of terms and conditions to workers, and making this a day one right (currently employers have two months to provide this statement).

  • Expansion of the information required in the statement of terms.

  • Increase in the maximum penalty for a breach of employment law from £5,000 to £20,000.

  • The right for all workers to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks of service.

  • Extension of the period of time required to break continuity of employment from one week to four weeks, allowing individuals who work intermittently to more easily build up continuous service.

  • Improving clarity on employment status for employers and workers.

  • Introduction of a right to a key facts page specifying type of contract, the minimum rate of pay, how they will be paid, any deductions made by any intermediary company and an estimate of take home pay.