As Boris assumes his seat firmly in No10 we take a look at what the future holds for HR
It does appear Boris has a lot on his plate at the moment, when Mrs May passed her lengthy list of tasks she also handed over workplace policies, one of these was the “Good Work Plan” and the other legislation, the next few months will be a little turbulent so I am not sure what Boris and his team will tackle and what the priorities will now be.
Can we move forward or let go – Workers Rights
When we look at Workers Rights Mrs May sought to gain support in the Brexit withdrawal offering MP’s a vote to adopt 2 pieces of new EU legislation one for parental leave and the other employment rights after Brexit, the decision will now lay with Boris to pursue or drop.
Changes also need to be addressed within The Work-Life Balance Directive, here we see the guarantee of 10 working days paid paternity leave and 4 months right to shared parental leave. In addition to these The Predictable Working Conditions Directive which would provide workers in the future a statement which would then outline the terms of their employment as well as the provision of other rights.
The elephant in the room “Brexit”
As we are all aware Brexit, is still the elephant in the room and the issue for employers particularly in HR is access to skilled workers under a visa regime, as the announcement by Boris was sketchy to say the least it has left employers feeling uneasy. It has been noted by him his preference is of an Australian style points system to control the flow of workers, this would be based on the points allocated for age and English language. The reliance in the future was indicated by Priti Patel in August against “automatically relying on low-skilled workers”.
There is also the Maternity Protection bill to contend with and if progressed this will prohibit an employer from making an individual redundant from when they inform them of their pregnancy, this will remain for a 6-months after the maternity leave ends. Currently the protections state individuals made redundant during maternity must be offered suitable alternative vacancies. If there is a no-deal Brexit this will delay its implementation, it at present awaiting second reading.
Is it a full stop on “The Good Work Plan”?
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Finally, but by no means least and in response to Mathew Taylors investigation which focuses on working practices we see the much talked about among HR Practitioners “The Good Work Plan”, Mrs May had set the wheels firmly in motion on this one and HR Practitioners had been watching closely its movement. One of the key changes aimed at the gig economy, workers would be provided more stability, including the right to regular hours and these be would be written into contracts of employment.
A clear and fair process was also underway to harmonise tax status and employment status, we have seen recently cases brought to tribunal by the self-employed claiming their rights as employees based on how they work, having been denied access to holiday pay and sick entitlement, the changes will have a significant impact for the self-employed in the future.
In all it will be a testing time for Boris in relation to the workplace policies, HR Practitioners will be keeping a close eye on developments, the changes and new legislation at the end of it all are to harmonise and enhance the employee and employer working relationship, employers who have policy and processes which are reviewed and updated should find this a somewhat straightforward exercise.
In line with best practice and Mrs May’s proposals for the Good Work Plan we can assure you that all of our documentation are future proofed (whatever the outcomes), we have a whole suite of documents. If you need any assistance please do contact us, we are more than happy to assist.
Written by Fran Crossland
HR and you