The government has opened a 'Consultation on Measures to Increase Transparency in the UK Labour Market'. This consultation looks at transparency and employment contracts for the employee or worker.

The consultation of one of four consultations published in the governments response to the 2017 Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

It addresses the following recommendations from the Review:

  • The government should build on and improve clarity, certainty and understanding of all working people by extending the right to a written statement to dependent contractors* as well as employees.
  • The government should also consider introducing a standalone right for individuals to bring a claim for compensation if an employer has failed to provide a written statement
  • The government should do more; working with Acas and others to ensure information is accessible.
  • The government should extend, form one week to one month, the consideration of the relevant break in service for the calculation of the qualifying period for continuous service and clarify the situations where cessations od work could be justified.
  • The government should do more to promote awareness of holiday pay entitlements, increasing the pay reference period to 52 weeks to take account of seasonal variations and give dependent contractors* the opportunity to receive rolled-up holiday pay
  • The government should introduce a right to request a direct contract of employment for agency workers who have been placed with the same hirer for 12 months, and an obligation on the hirer to consider the request in a reasonable manner.
  • The government should act to create a right to request a contract that guarantees hours for those on zero hours contracts who have been in post for 12 months which better reflects the hours worked
  • The government should examine the effectiveness of the Information and Consultation Regulations in improving employee engagement in the workplace. In particular, it should extend the Regulation to include employees and workers and reduce the threshold for implementation from 10% to 2% of the workforce making the request.

* ”Dependent contractors” refers to people eligible for worker rights other than employees.


  • The consultation is mostly fact-finding, with few concrete proposals
  • Such measures as are proposed are high level and in line with the recommendations above.

The specific questions are:

Q1: [Employers] Have you provided a written statement of employment in the last twelve months to:

  1. Your permanent employees (yes/no/don’t know)
  2. Your non-permanent staff (yes/no/don’t know)
  3. If yes, approximately how many in the last twelve months?
  4. If no, please explain your reasons

Q2: [Employers] In general, when do individuals starting paid work at your organisation receive:

  1. A written statement
  2. An employment contract or other employment particulars

Q3: [Employers] How long, on average, would it take a member of staff to produce a written statement for a new starter?

Q4: {Employers] How often do you seek legal advice when producing a written statement?

Q5: [Employers] Are there other business costs associated with producing a written statement, in addition to personnel and legal costs that we should be aware of? If yes, please provide details.

Q6: [Individuals] If you are employed, have you received any of the following from your employer:

  1. A written statement?
  2. An employment contract or other employment particulars

Q7: {Individuals] If yes, when did you receive the following in relation to starting paid work with your employer:

  1. A written statement
  2. An employment contract or other employment particulars

Q8: {Individuals] If yes, was the information presented in a way that was easy to understand?

Q9: [All] To what extent do you agree that the right to a written statement should be extended to cover permanent employees with less than one month’s service and non-permanent staff? Please provide reasons for your answer.

Q10: [All] The following items are currently prescribed contents of a principal written statement. Do you think they are helpful in setting out employment particulars? In each case, if no, please explain why.

  1. The business’s name
  2. The employee’s name, job title or a description of work and start date
  3. If a previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment, the date that period started
  4. How much, and how often, an employee will get paid
  5. Hours of work (and whether employees will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime)
  6. Holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays)
  7. Where an employee will be working and whether they might have to relocate
  8. If an employee works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is

Q11: [All] Do you agree the following additional items should be included on a principal written statement? If you disagree that any should be included on a principal written statement, please provide reasons.

  1. How long a temporary job is expected to last, or the end date of a fixed-term contract?
  2. How much notice the employer and the worker are required to give to terminate the agreement?
  3. Sick leave and pay entitlement?
  4. The duration and conditions of any probationary period?
  5. Training requirements and entitlement?
  6. Remuneration beyond pay e.g. vouchers, lunch, uniform allowance?
  7. Other types of paid leave e.g. maternity paternity and bereavement leave?

Q12: [All] To what extent do you agree that the principal written statement should be provided on (or before) the individual’s start date?

Q13: [All] To what extent do you agree that other parts of the written statement should be provided within two months of their start date?

Q14: [Individuals] Have you ever worked for an organisation that has not provided you with a written statement of employment particulars within 2 months of starting your job?

Q15: [Individuals] If you answered yes to question 14, did you:

  1. Consider lodging a complaint with an employment tribunal (even if you did not end up doing it)? If no, please explain your reasons.
  2. Pursue compensation? If no, please provide reasons

Q16: {Individuals] If you answered yes to question 15b, were you successful is securing compensation for failing to receive a written statement within 2 months of starting your job? If no, please provide a reason for your answer.

Q17: {Individuals] If we introduced a standalone right for individuals to bring a claim for compensation where an employer has failed to provide a written statement, what impact do you think this would have? Please consider the impact on:

  1. Individuals
  2. Employers
  3. The Tribunal Service

Q18: [All] Which of the following best describes your awareness of the Acas guidance on written statements?

  • I have not heard of the Acas guidance
  • I am aware of the but do not know much about it
  • I am aware of the Acas guidance and have some knowledge of what it says
  • I have a good knowledge of the Acas guidance
  • Don’t know

Q19: [All] If you have some knowledge of the Acas guidance on written statements how helpful did you find it? Please provide reasons for your answer.

Q20: [All] What do you think are the implications for business of the current rules on continuous service?

Q21: [All] If you are employed, or represent employees, what are the implications for you or those you represent of the current rules on continuous service?

Q22: [All] Do you have examples of instances where breaks in service have prevented employees from obtaining their rights that require a qualifying period? If yes, please provide examples.

Q23: [All] Do the current rules on continuous service cause any issues in your sector? Please specify your sector and explain your answer.

Q24: [All] We have committed to extending the period counted as a break in continuous service beyond one week. What length do you think the break in continuous service should be? Please provide your reasoning.

Q25: [All] Do you believe the existing exemptions to the break in continuous service rules are sufficient? If no, do you have views on additional circumstances that should be added?

Q26: [All] We intend to update the guidance on continuous service, and would like to know what types of information you would find helpful in that guidance.

  • Real examples form case law
  • Signposts to further information
  • Information on what to do if you feel your employer has not complied with the legislation
  • Other – please specify

Q27: [All] Do you agree that government should take action to change the length of the holiday pay reference period? If no, explain your answer.

Q28: [All] If you answered yes to Q27, should government:

  1. Increase the reference period from the current 12 weeks to the 52 weeks recommended in the review?
  2. Set a 52 week default position but allow employees and workers to agree a shorter reference period?
  3. Set a different reference period. If yes, please specify.

Q29: [All] What is your understanding of atypical workers’ arrangements in relation to annual leave and holiday pay? For example:

  1. Are they receiving and taking annual leave?
  2. Are they receiving holiday pay but not taking annual leave?
  3. Do you know of any other arrangements that are used? Please explain your answer.

Q30: [All] How might atypical workers be offered more choice in how they receive their holiday pay? Please provide examples including how worker’s entitlement to annual leave could be safeguarded so they are not deterred from taking leave.

Q31: [All] Do you agree that we should introduce a Right to Request a more stable contract? Please explain your reasons.

Q32: [All] Should any group of workers be excluded from this right? Please explain your reasons.

Q33: [All] Do you think this will help resolve the issues the review recommendations sought to address? Please explain your reasons.

Q34: [All] Should employers take account of the individual’s working pattern in considering a request? Please explain your reasons.

Q35: [All] Should there be a qualifying period of continuous service before individuals are eligible for this right? Please explain your reasons.

Q36: [All] What is an appropriate length of time the employer should be given to respond to the request?

Q37: [All] Should there be a limit on the number of requests an individual can submit to their employer in a certain period of time? Please explain your reasons and include a suggestion of what an appropriate limit might be and why.

Q38: [All] When considering requests, should Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) be included? If yes, do you think they should have any dispensations applied e.g. longer to respond?

Q39: [All] Are there formal provisions in your workplace for informing and consulting employees about changes that may affect their work? If yes, were these provisions requested by employees or initiated voluntarily by the employer/manager?

Q40: [Individuals] Have you ever requested Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) provisions in your workplace?

                If no, please describe why you have not made a request for ICE provisions

  • My workplace has less than 50 employees, and so does not qualify for ICE regulations
  • There were not enough employees wanting to make a request to meet the required 10% threshold
  • It was too complicated/difficult to make the request
  • I was not aware of the ICE Regulations
  • I don’t believe that the ICE regulations would make a difference to my working conditions
  • Other – please explain

If yes, did this lead to positive outcomes for you at work? Please explain your answer.

Q41: [All] How might the ICE regulations be improved?

Q42: [All] Should the ICE regulations be extended to include workers in addition to employees? Please explain your reasons.

Q43: [All] Should the threshold for successfully requesting ICE regulations be reduced from 10% of the workforce to 2%? Please explain your answer.

Q44: [All] Is it necessary for the percentage threshold for implementing ICE to equate to a minimum of 15 employees? Please explain your answer.

Q45: [All] Are there other ways that the government can support businesses on employee/worker engagement?

Q46: [All] How might government build on the expertise of stakeholders such as Investors in People, Acas and Trade Unions to ensure employees and workers engage with information about their work?

Q47: [All] What steps could be taken to ensure workers’ views are heard by employers and taken into account?

Q48: [All] Are there other ways that the government can support businesses on employee/worker engagement?


The Taylor Review


HMRC: Consultation on measures to increase transparency in the UK labour market