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Flexible and vulnerable workers to benefit from enhanced employment rights: PM

Employees are to get new rights to sickness and holiday pay, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced.

There will also be reforms to keep employment law in line with new work patterns arising from technological change.

These steps followed the Good Work review of working practices by Matthew Taylor.

He found that flexibility had strengthened the UK’s labour market but more focus was needed on quality of work as well as the quantity of jobs.

Changes promised would see enforcement of vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay, a list of rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements from the first day of employment, the right to a payslip - including for casual and zero-hour workers - and a right for all workers to request a more stable contract.

The Prime Minister said: “We recognise the world of work is changing and we have to make sure we have the right structures in place to reflect those changes, enhancing the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to do business.

“We are proud to have record levels of employment in this country but we must also ensure that workers’ rights are always upheld.”

There will also be policy changes to prevent unpaid interns doing work for which someone would normally be paid, and naming of employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards.

Tribunals will gain powers to quadruple the present level of fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000.

Mark Smulian

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