international employment law firm alliance L&E Global
United Kingdom

UK: Future UK worker rights and protections: New House of Commons Select Committee report recommendations to government

Recommendations include:

  • The committee called on the UK government to introduce a right for workers to be consulted and notified where technology will result in their surveillance, and to consult on an enforceable code of practice on its use
  • There need to be new laws to reflect more flexible constructions of work. For example, a default right to a secure contract that reflects working hours after 26 weeks of work (rather than the proposed right to request a predictable working pattern); a right to 4 weeks’ notice of working schedules and a right to compensation for cancelled shifts
  • More research is needed into the prevalence and nature of pregnancy discrimination and disadvantage in the workplace
  • The government should proceed with plans for a single enforcement body and statutory protection from umbrella companies that deprive workers of rights and remuneration
  • There should be an investigation into the health and safety implications of night working
  • The government should explain why it has not yet extended time limits for certain tribunal claims from three to six months
  • There is a need for greater scrutiny of provisions of the Retained EU law Bill that will be ‘sun-setted’ or incorporated into domestic law
  • Employers should offer more flexible working opportunities to benefit from the huge untapped pool of older workers and they must assess whether their recruitment practices and workplaces are ageist.

Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel

The purpose of the report was to assess the overall state of the UK labour market, its prospects, the pressure it faces and the government’s policy response.  Whilst the report is not a statement of government policy, the report will help to provide government with suggestions and information it will need to inform its policy decisions in relation to worker rights and protections and technology and skills development.  It is worth reading to gain an insight into the issues the government now faces in preparing our laws and policies for the future world of work.