The government has launched a consultation on ‘one sided flexibility’ following recommendations made in the Taylor Review and by the Low Pay Commission.

There are an estimated 1.7 million workers in the UK who do not have guaranteed hours and are at risk of having their hours changed without notice.

“The Low Pay Commission found examples where some employers misused flexible working arrangements to create unpredictability of hours, insecurity of income and a reluctance among workers to assert basic employment rights.”

Introduction to consultation on ‘one sided flexibility’.

The Low Pay Commission  has recommended that legislation be introduced to protect vulnerable staff:

Give workers ‘reasonable notice’ of their work schedules

The consultation seeks views on how much notice is reasonable, whether it should apply across the board or if certain employers/sectors, such as the emergency services need more flexibility.

Compensate workers if their shifts are cancelled or shortened without ‘reasonable notice’

The suggestion is that if a worker’s hours are cancelled with less than the appropriate notice, the employer would be liable to pay compensation, irrespective of whether the hours are replaced.

The consultation suggests that compensation could be set at one of three levels:

    1. The value of the shift/hours in question
    2. The worker’s appropriate National Minimum Wage rate multiplied by the scheduled number of hours cancelled; or
    3. A multiple of a worker’s appropriate National Minimum Wage rate.

The government also asks whether compensation should only apply to those workers below a certain income level, close to or on the minimum wage, or to those on specific contract types – such as zero-hour contracts.

How can you have your say?

The consultation ends on 11 October 2019 and if you engage casual staff, we strongly recommend that you make your views known as, if implemented, these changes may impact on you.

You can file your response here.

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