The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 is expected to come into force in September 2024, and will implement a new statutory right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern. ACAS is devising a draft Code of Practice for consultation, which will provide guidance on dealing with requests, but we already know that the right will extend to:
- Workers with existing working patterns that lack certainty regarding the hours or times of work.
- Workers on fixed-term contracts of 12 months or less (who are able to request a longer fixed-term or the removal of any provisions relating to fixed-term).
- Agency workers (who can make their request either to the agency or the hirer provided they meet certain qualifying conditions).
The qualifying length of service to make a request is likely to be 26 weeks (and the weeks do not have to be continuous). In their application, the worker must detail the change being applied for, and the date it should take effect. The request for predictability could relate to working hours, working days, or period of engagement. Up to 2 applications can be made in any 12-month period.
Employers will have to deal with any requests in a reasonable manner and confirm their decision to the applicant worker within one month. There are currently six grounds for refusal specified in the legislation, including the burden of additional costs or there being insufficient work during the periods when the worker has requested to work. If a request is successful, the new terms must be offered within two weeks of approving the request. Employers will not be allowed to make detrimental changes to other contractual terms at the same time as making the changes resulting from a successful request for predictability.
We can help you to understand the potential impact of this new legislation on your organisation, and how you can prepare.
We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.
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