With a flurry of changes in family friendly rights being announced over the last few months, you may have missed the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023.
The Act recently received Royal Assent (fancy talk for King Charles signing it off and the legislative process ending) but the changes it makes aren’t expected to come into effect until some time in September 2024, so there’s plenty of time to prepare.
But what does the Act actually do? Generally, it introduces a brand new statutory right for certain workers (yes workers, not just employees!) to request a more predictable working pattern.
The highlights of the Act are:
- That it will apply to:
- Workers where their existing working patterns lack certainty in terms of the times or hours that they work;
- Workers who are on fixed-term contracts of 12 months or less;
- Agency workers.
- These workers will likely need to have 26 weeks’ service to make the request (although those 26 weeks may not need to be continuous);
- Two applications for predictable working hours can be made in any 12 month period;
- An application must specify the change that is being applied for and the date the worker wants it to take effect;
- The request for predictability could relate to the hours of work, the days of work or the length of the engagement period;
- Employers will need to deal with requests in a reasonable manner and within one month of the application (think, a similar process to current flexible working requests); and
- If requests are granted, employers must offer the new terms within two weeks of granting the request.
We’re expecting Acas to publish a Code of Practice in the coming months which will give employers guidance on how to handle predictable working requests. You can bet your bottom dollar Precept will be bringing you the latest on that as soon as it lands.
If you have any questions or queries on workers rights then we’re you go to guys – give us a call!