Major working rule shake-up to benefit one million Brits on minimum wage – check what it means for you | The Sun

ONE million Brits will be given more say over their working patterns thanks to a new law.

It gives individuals on atypical contracts – including those on zero-hours contracts – more predictable working hours

If you're on a zero hour contract right now, there's no obligation for your employer to provide you with a minimum number of hours of work per week.

Instead, you are employed and get work on an ad-hoc basis.

These workers are often paid the national minimum wage which is the lowest legal pay rate for UK workers.

Zero hour contracts are more common in certain industries.

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For example, in the hospitality industry, because employers need the flexibility to bring workers in at short notice to work particular hours.

But the new Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill, which has been given royal ascent, will introduce a right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern.

It means that if a worker's existing working pattern lacks certainty in terms of the hours they work, they will be able to make a formal application to change their working pattern to make it more predictable.

Once a worker has made their request, their employer will be required to notify them of their decision within one month.

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The new rules are expected to come into force next Autumn to give employers enough time to prepare for their implementation.

Kevin Hollinrake, business and trade minister, said: "Although zero hours contracts can often suit workers who want to work flexibly and employers whose needs vary, it is unfair for anyone to have to put their lives on hold to make themselves available for shifts that may never actually come – this Act helps to end the guessing game.

"A happier workforce means increased productivity, helping in turn to grow the economy, which is why we've backed these measures to give people across the UK more say over their working pattern."

What are my rights if I'm on a zero hour contract?

Workers on a zero hour contract only get paid for the hours they work.

Regardless of this you should be getting paid the right amount for them.

The national minimum wage is the lowest legal pay rate for UK workers, and what you get depends on how old you are.

Exactly what you'll get depends on how old you are:

  • Those aged 21-22 get at least £10.18 an hour
  • For 18 to 20-year-olds, the minimum wage is £7.49 an hour
  • Under-18s are entitled to a minimum of £5.28 an hour
  • The apprenticeship wage is also £5.28 an hour

People working on zero hours contracts are still entitled to breaks, which kick after a certain amount of time under the working time regulations.

These say that workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than six hours a day. This can be a tea or lunch break.

But the break doesn’t have to be paid – it depends on the employment contract.

Workers also have the right to 11 hours' rest between working days.

Workers on zero hours contracts can also accumulate holiday depending on how many hours they work just as people on open contracts do.

If you're unwell, your employer is legally obliged to pay you £109.40 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work, paid for up to 28 weeks.


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This is available as long as you have earned £120 per week (before tax) working for them in the previous eight weeks.

We've previously spoken to an employment lawyer who explained everything you need to know about flexible work.

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