19th February 2018

Employee wellbeing to improve under new plan

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New worker rights set to be introduced in the UK could improve employee wellbeing and reduce the risk of stress in the workplace, according to IOSH.

The Government has pledged to protect worker rights under the ‘Good Work’ plan, ensure fair payment and increase transparency in the business environment.

The plan includes enforcing vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay, a new right to a payslip for all workers, and a right to request a more stable contract.

Last year an independent review of modern work practices was published by Matthew Taylor, chief executive of Royal Society of Arts, which made 53 recommendations to balance flexibility and worker protection to achieve “good work for all”.

IOSH, the chartered body for health and safety professionals, also raised issues around modern work practices following a survey it commissioned which revealed that fewer protections were being offered to non-permanent workers, leading to many working when sick, working unpaid overtime and not having holiday pay.

A ‘day-one agreement’, was called for by Matthew Taylor and IOSH, which would set out the level of health, safety and wellbeing provision a new worker can expect.

Shelley Frost, director of strategic development at IOSH, said: “The UK Government’s Good Work plan acknowledges the issues raised in the Taylor Review and recognises that all working people should have the same employment rights.

“There is a fundamental duty on employers to protect the health and safety of all workers.

“Therefore, there should be no discrimination on the grounds of contractual conditions. For example, while zero hours contracts are said to support more modern, agile ways of working, they should not be at the expense of the working conditions of the employees involved.

“There is clear evidence that if businesses do employ consistent standards across the board, they reap the rewards, including better productivity and improved reputation, which helps to attract talent.”