A Closer Look at the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023
The ever-changing employment landscape is about to witness a significant transformation with the impending enactment of the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023, scheduled to come into force in September 2024.
This groundbreaking act grants workers a statutory right to request more predictable working arrangements, a change that has far-reaching implications for both business owners and HR professionals.
Understanding the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023
The act stipulates that, to be eligible, workers typically need to have completed 26 weeks of service. Importantly, these weeks do not need to be consecutive, providing flexibility for a variety of employment situations
Who Does It Apply To:
- Those whose working hours lack certainty or predictability.
- Workers on fixed-term contracts of 12 months or less, who gain the right to request extended fixed terms or the removal of fixed-term provisions.
- Agency workers can exercise this right and make requests to either the agency or the hiring organization, contingent upon meeting certain qualifications
Frequency of Applications:
One key aspect of the act is the limitation on the frequency of applications. Workers are allowed to submit up to two requests for predictable terms within any 12-month period. This provision aims to balance the needs of workers with the operational requirements of businesses.
The act mandates that applications for predictable terms must contain specific details, including the desired changes and the proposed effective dates. Workers can request predictability regarding various aspects, such as the hours of work, days of work, or the period of engagement.
Upon receiving a request, employers are required to handle it in a reasonable manner and provide a response to the worker within one month. This time frame ensures timely resolution and transparency in the decision-making process.
Grounds for Refusal:
The act outlines certain grounds on which employers can refuse requests. Currently, there are six specified grounds, including the burden of additional costs and insufficient work during the requested periods.
Additionally, the Secretary of State reserves the right to include more grounds in the future.
These provisions aim to strike a balance between workers’ rights and businesses’ operational needs.