UK Employment Law

An EU Green Paper entitled, ‘Modernising Labour Law to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century’ may bring about a re-drafting of UK Employment Law. The modernisation of labour law is seen to support the European Union’s objectives of full employment and greater labour productivity and has been designed to promote and encourage flexibility and job security.

Of particular concern to the EU is the status of the self-employed workers as they do not, at present, enjoy many employment rights. It has been suggested that minimum requirements and rights be introduced into all personal contracts for services undertaken by the economically independent self-employed. It has been suggested that a single definition of ‘worker’ could resolve this problem. An open public consultation will be conducted on this Green Paper and the EU’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs will vote on the Green Paper in a plenary session.

The CIPD has launched a comprehensive compendium tool kit to support employers introducing performance management and appraisals in their company. The tool kit is aimed at operational managers as well as personnel professionals and its aim is to enable companies to build a performance approach into the everyday life of their organization.

A new bill has been introduced in Parliament that aims to give agency workers the same rights that long-term staff and employees enjoy in areas such as wages, sick pay and holiday pay. The Bill is due to receive its second reading in October 2007 where it will require the support of over 100 MPs if it is to progress any further. In the meantime, the DTI have published a consultation paper on measures to protect vulnerable agency workers. Some of the changes it proposes include charging for services provided by agencies to workers (e.g. accommodation fees), the simplification of information provided to agency workers on short-term assignments, and requiring agencies to ensure that drivers comply with all current legislation governing driving.