#DecentJobsWeek: 12 changes that will make a difference
In time for the 12 days of Christmas…
- On the first day in a new job, all workers should be given a written statement setting out their terms and conditions, including their expected hours of work.
- Employers must give workers adequate notice of when they will be required to work and before a shift is cancelled. Where a shift is cancelled at short notice employers must pay the workers for their scheduled shift and for their travel costs.
- Where individuals work regular hours, their employer must give them a written contract which guarantees their normal working hours an ongoing basis.
- Individuals working on zero-hours and other casual contracts who work irregular hours should be paid an allowance in addition to the normal pay to reward them for the flexibility they provide employers.
- Workers should be paid at least the national minimum wage whenever they are ‘on-call’ and expected to be available for work at short notice.
- The national minimum wage should be increased to significantly more than £7.00 per hour next year, and its real value should continue to rise strongly in the following years. The living wage should be rolled out through the public sector and their contractors and the public sector pay cap must come to an end.
Equal pay for agency workers
- All agency workers should have the right to the same pay as permanent employees doing the same or similar work. The current loophole which means agency workers on permanent pay-between-assignment contracts lose out should be closed.
Ending the two-tier workforce
- The law on employment status must be modernised to ensure that all ‘workers’ not just ‘employees’ are entitled to:
- protection from unfair dismissal,
- statutory redundancy pay,
- the right to request to work flexibly,
- the right return to their job after maternity, paternity or adoption leave, and
- trade union rights, including rights to paid time off for trade union duties and training.
- The law should state that all individuals are presumed to be employees, unless the employer can prove they are genuinely self-employed. Workers should not lose out on workplace rights just because they have a gap of more than one week in their work.
Better enforcement of employment rights for vulnerable workers
- Fees for employment tribunal should be abolished.
- All enforcement agencies should be adequately funded, with increased priority given to the enforcement of national minimum wage rights for those on zero-hours workers, agency workers and casual workers. The powers of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority should be restored and its remit extended to include high risk sectors.
Better access to union representation and collective bargaining for all
- Measures should be adopted which promote and extend collective bargaining