Working Families’ response to the Government’s Good Work Plan
Published: 17 Dec 2018
In response, Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive of Working Families , said:
The Government’s Good Work Plan is a step in the right direction, particularly when it comes to setting out day-one rights for leave entitlement and pay. However, more could be done to protect people in work who are not officially designated as employees.
Because of their employment status, parents who are designated ‘workers’ are not entitled to the same family-friendly rights as employees: rights like maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay; the right to request flexible working; and time off for emergencies.
Things are no better for parents whose employer has classified them as ‘self-employed’. For example, a recent caller to our legal advice helpline was expecting a baby who had a congenital condition and was only expected to live for a few weeks. Her husband was a self-employed minicab driver and he wanted to take time off to be with the baby. As he is self-employed, there was no form of paternity pay, so he couldn’t afford to stop working.
Whilst the government promotes this three tier employment contract framework, it should be moving employers toward the presumption that a person is an employee, and to achieving a level playing field on parental rights across employment contracts. A written statement of rights is all very well, but there need to be meaningful parental rights available to parents in insecure work, to include in them.
Working Families is the UK’s work-life balance organisation. We help working parents and carers—and their employers—find a better balance between responsibilities at home and in the workplace.
Through our legal advice helpline, we assist parents and carers in tackling complex issues around employment rights and benefits. We give employers the tools and guidance they need to support their employees while creating a flexible, high-performing workforce. And we advocate on behalf of 11 million working parents and carers across the UK, influencing policy through campaigns informed by ground-breaking research.