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New law: Government announces major changes to employment law

Employers should start planning for significant changes to employment law, announced by government in its Good Work Plan and due to come into force from 2019.

January 2019

This update was published in Legal Alert - January 2019

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

The proposed changes, which follow a major consultation by Matthew Taylor, the Good Work Review, include:

  • New rules for determining whether there has been continuity of employment for employment law purposes. These say that there will be no break in employment if there is a period of up to four weeks – rather than one week, as at present - between contracts.
  • A requirement to give a written statement of terms and conditions to ‘workers’ (not just employees) on their first day of work.
  • Bringing the different existing tests of whether someone is an employee or self-employed for the purposes of employment law and tax law into line.
  • Banning deductions from staff tips by employers.
  • Quadrupling the additional penalty that can be imposed on employers guilty of ‘aggravating conduct’, from £5,000 to £20,000.
  • Abolishing employers’ powers to pay agency workers less than in-house workers in certain circumstances.
  • Giving staff who have not had a fixed working pattern for a period of 26 weeks (eg. those on a zero hours’ contract) the right to request one.

Operative date

  • Now


  • Employers should download the Good Work Plan from the gov.uk website

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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