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Employers face stricter rules over workers’ rights

A series of major reforms are set to change employment laws and practices for businesses that employ flexible workers on zero-hour contracts, creating possible extra costs for employers.

The government announced its Good Work Plan on 7 February 2018, in response to the Taylor Review of modern working practices, which was published in July 2017.

The changes include stricter enforcement of sick and holiday pay, clearer definition of contracts, and increased transparency around workplace rights.

The government also plans to consider repealing laws that allow agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates, and will look at the impact of raising minimum wage rates for workers on zero-hour contracts.

Harsher penalties for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight will be introduced, with employment tribunal fines to increase by up to 4 times in the most serious cases.

Jane Gratton, head of business environment at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"Businesses communities will support the greater focus on the quality of work outlined in the government's response.

"However, with a tight labour market and labour shortages, the government must play its part in delivering a pipeline of skilled workers needed for businesses to maximise productivity and growth."

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