Government proposes new benefits for flexible workers

(2 minutes to read)

Often used in service industries such as couriers and hospitality and in the retail sectors, flexible working allows people to fit their work around their personal lives, including caring responsibilities and studies.

Proposed government reforms could result in millions of flexible workers benefitting from new rights and extra protection if they lose out on work.

Advancing the ‘Good Work Plan’, the government will consult on proposed new measures for flexible workers, including:

  • Compensation for workers when shifts are cancelled at short notice
  • Entitlement to a reasonable period of notice for their allocated shifts
  • Additional protections for individuals who are penalised if they do not accept shifts last minute.

Business Secretary, Greg Clark, commented, “Innovative entrepreneurs and new business models have opened up a whole new world of working patterns and opportunities, providing people with freedom to decide when and where they work that best suits them.

“It’s vital that workers’ rights keep pace with these changes, reflect the modern working environment and tackle the small number of firms that do not treat their staff fairly.

“We are the first country in the world to address modern working practices and these protections will cement the UK’s status as a world-leader in workers’ rights.”

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Low Pay Commission Chair, Bryan Sanderson, added, “We are delighted to see the government taking forward our recommendation to consult on these measures.

“Last year we looked at the data on one-sided flexibility and talked to workers and businesses across the UK. Our report, published in December, found that shift cancellations and short notice of work schedules were significant problems, especially for low-paid workers.

The proposed changes, part of a package of policies we suggested, have the potential to improve work and life for hundreds of thousands of people.

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