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The Good Work Plan (GWP) | How to prepare

7 min read | 17 February, 2020 By Rachael Down


The Good Work Plan (GWP) was created in response to Matthew Taylor’s 2017 independent review of modern working practices. The Taylor report, as it’s aptly named, sets out a number of working guidelines and recommendations for the UK government.

Nearly 3 years on and we’re looking forward to seeing the final published changes to UK law in action. 

So, whether you’re an employer, consultant, manager, employee or all of the above, it’s time to sit up and take note; the GWP maps out the path to transformative development for all UK businesses.  

Save the date: The planned changes are due to take effect from April 2020.

We'll cover The Good Work Plan's:

prepare gwp-1

Why do we need the Good Work Plan?

The Good Work Plan (GWP) focuses on improving three main areas of UK working life:

  • Commitment to fair employment.
  • Clarity for employers and workers.
  • Tighter enforcement and legal transparency.

How will the Good Work Plan achieve this?

The GWP is built on 5 key founding principles to encourage quality work and relationships:

1. Satisfaction

With Millennials now making up 50% of our workforce, work is no longer restricted to bringing home the bacon and lining our ever-deepening pockets.

As Taylor's report predicted, fulfilment and purpose are the words in the office for 2020. The GWP hopes to set boundaries for such satisfaction by encouraging honesty and transparency around job quality, roles, employee benefits as well as working hours and contracts.  

Expect more clarity and changes to employment status credentials, including narrowing the gap between different employment types and catering to new roles, such as the gig economy. With that, we're likely to see an upturn in high-quality online data, including recruitment and job boards, career planning and government portals, such as the Department for Work and Pensions’ Find a Job

2. Fair pay

The Taylor review exposed discrepancies with pay and what's considered ‘fair’ in relation to age and gender as well as location and experience. The government's response to wages and fair pay is encouraging, with comprehensive yet concise guidance now available online

Financial adjustments and key points:

  • Revision to National Living and National Minimum Wage (NMW). 
  • Extension of financial penalties for employers who breach guidance terms (including underpayment of NMW and holiday entitlement plus Tribunal fees of up to £20,000).  
  • Thanks to the latest increase in the National Living Wage, more than 2 million full-time workers receive an extra £2000 per year.
  • Equal pay and gender pay gap legislation. 
  • Plan to legislate against employers who unlawfully take gratuities or tips from workers. 
  • Addressing pay-between-assignment contracts' (PBC) loophole for agency workers. 

Watch out for changes to discretionary payments for service as well as the release of Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) remit, which hopes to tackle the potential impact on employment and economic growth for the years beyond 2020.

3. Participation and progression

It’s about understanding your business and team from the inside out, and then understanding ways to create space for participation and progression.

First, look at what is working well and determine areas to improve. By turning our attention to the people who make up our team, we can align our visions and goals to then begin on the same page.

Where and how are you different? From there, focus on ways to balance diversity with inclusivity in business:

  • What can you learn from this?
  • How can you apply these learnings at work everyday?

Start with the reasons why; the rest will follow and fall into place. 

This type of introspective planning is important for agency workers too. Especially considering that the GWP now calls on employers to provide simple and clear rules - aka a worker's statement of rights - before appointing the role. 

4. Wellbeing, safety and security

Wellbeing covers all aspects of an individual's life. From the food and water we ingest, to how we move, stretch and breathe, right up to the roof over our heads and the money in our pockets; wellbeing underpins it all.

It's reassuring then to see the government taking a proactive approach to our mental and physical safety. Now, with our business wellbeing hats on, let's explore ways to manage it:

  • Identify individual strengths and friction points. Do you know who you're working with? Take some time to sit and just be with your team. You'll likely unearth a whole host of transferable talents, passions and skills that would otherwise lay dormant. Equally, the more you can invest in your team, the more you'll see, the more you can manage. 

  • Align goals and vision with findings. Why do you do what you do? What's the bigger picture? Think back to our millennials' mindset. Their focus includes fulfilment and purpose. Yours is now to align the vision. So what actions can you take and which behaviours can you all make to achieve success together?

    Our Culture Pledge helps over 500 small businesses establish and cultivate their company from the inside. Check out our culture library or take the pledge and gain access to the toolkit. 

  • Learn how to improve. From social influencers to blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos, there are thousands of wellbeing specialists who are gagging to help your team. Our friends at yulife offer affordable life insurance and employee wellbeing solutions to keep your team active, aware and engaged every day. Head to our marketplace to see if our other complementary partners could help you. 

  • Commit to apply. Come up with a plan to incorporate healthy habits into your day, then stick to it. Think consistency and leading by example. And it's okay to start small. How about taking your meetings outside or switching the 4pm biscuit run for a 10-minute guided group meditation? Omm...

Self awareness and introspection leads to stronger interpersonal relationships. This, in turn, helps us to manage external influences that would otherwise cloud our vision and deter us from achieving goals.

5. Voice and autonomy

The Taylor Review states that for work to be fair and decent, workers must have a voice. Report findings call to maintain ‘the 15-employee minimum’ alongside lowering the threshold ‘required for a request to set up information and consultation arrangements from 10% to 2% of employees’.

We use weekly one-to-ones, performance reviews, quarterly company meetings as well as kudos and our open-to-all-suggestions board to give our people voice and autonomy.

The rest of the features on Breathe, such as sickness tracking, holiday requests, expenses and secure document storage not only keeps us in the HR and GDPR good books but also saves valuable time to then spend with our people. 

Preparing for The Good Work Plan

It’s great to see that our vision mirrors that of leading government initiatives, such as The Good Work Plan. Through switching our mindset from profit and results to how to improve the process, we’re learning how to create a safe space for creative exploration, change and, ultimately, a greater business edge.

Take advantage of the digital age and commit to streamlining manual, labour-heavy or otherwise time-consuming tasks. Software as service systems, just like Breathe, can help companies understand how to improve management processes, such as employee development plans, progress reports and one-to-one reviews.

Once you know your teams' strength and friction points, head over to our complementary partner's marketplace for access to reputable insurance, engagement and training providers. 

HR strategy | Key points for employers 

Commitment to fair employment

  • The right to request a more predictable and stable contract.
  • Greater protection for agency workers and new rules regarding their pay.

Clarity for employers and workers

Tighter enforcement and legal transparency

  • Employment tribunals – reform of courts to transform the way people experience the justice system.
  • Changes to additional penalties faced by employers and clearer guidance for employees.
  • Adjusting to self-employed and flexible working arrangements, with further guidance planned to cover legislation for umbrella companies.
  • Pay entitlement and access.

Kudos Trials

Posted on 17 February, 2020

By Rachael Down

in Flexible Working

Tag Flexible Working

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