What the government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ means for golf clubs

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 19, 2019 14:21 Updated

The government introduced a policy paper called ‘The Good Work Plan’ in December 2018, which sets out its vision for the future of the UK labour market. Here, the National Golf Clubs Advisory Association (NGCAA) explains what it is, what the proposed changes are and how it might be relevant to golf clubs.

In July 2017, the Taylor Review was published, which reviewed modern working practices, in particular the ‘gig’ economy and agency workers. The review outlined an ambition for all work in the UK economy to be fair and decent and for employers to offer opportunities that give individuals realistic scope to develop and progress.

The purpose of the report was to look into how employment practices may need to change as a consequence of changes in the labour market and modern business models. Essentially, recognising that casual or ‘gig’ workers may not have adequate rights and protections, it suggested that the goal should be ‘good work for all’ and sets out seven steps towards achieving fair and decent work for all, with realistic scope for development and fulfilment

The Good Work Plan is the government’s response to the Taylor Review, with some changes already enacted and in force, others due to come into force in the coming months and years, with others still in either consultation or early stages of formulation.

How might it affect golf clubs?

Many golf clubs will employ seasonal, ‘casual’ or zero hours staff who would fit within the broad definition of ‘gig’ economy workers. ‘Gig’ workers are those who do not work fixed shifts, are not required to carry out a minimum number of hours each day or who can, in theory, work as much or as little as they choose.

The Taylor Report was seeking to get away from the suggestion of ‘casual’ work being regarded as ‘inessential’, whereas in fact it might be the only work that an individual can do. With that in mind, efforts have been made with the Good Work Plan to improve the rights and protections of those workers.

Golf clubs might welcome parts of the new legislation – especially the clarification in relation to employment status tests for golf club professionals.

What are the changes?

The first change was introduced on December 18, 2018, whereby any employer who fails to pay an employment tribunal award is now named and shamed by the government, in a similar way to those who breach minimum wage payments

From April 6, 2019, there has been an increase to the amount that a tribunal can order as an aggravated breach penalty from £5,000 to £20,000 in respect of breaches occurring on or after April 6, 2019.

From April 6, 2019 there has also been a right to a payslip for all workers, which must include the hours worked for hourly paid workers and employees.

With effect from April 6, 2020:

  • The reference period over which a week’s pay for holiday purposes is calculated, will be extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
  • A statement of written particulars will become a day one right for both workers and employees and will have to include additional mandatory content.
  • A ‘key facts page’ will have to be provided to agency workers (similar to a section one statement for an employee).
  • The ‘Swedish derogation’ in respect of agency workers will be abolished (which gets around the right to the same basic pay and conditions as comparable employees after a 12 week qualifying period).
  • The threshold for information and consultation arrangements will be reduced from 10 to two per cent.

Other notable changes in the Good Work Plan, which do not yet have draft or final legislation or alternatively guidance on how a non-legislative scheme would operate, include:

  • A review of the test for employment status.
  • Rights for zero hours workers to request a more predictable and stable contract such as to have guaranteed hours.
  • Improve continuity of service for casual employees.
  • An extension of redundancy protection immediately prior to, during and after maternity leave.
  • An alignment of employment status for tax and employment rights purposes.
  • State enforcement of underpayments of holiday pay.
  • Banning employers from making deductions from staff tips.

There are many aspects to the above changes where an effect will be felt by golf clubs. Most notably, clubs might welcome clarification in relation to employment status tests for golf club professionals.


For more advice on recruitment, employment or other matters of law affecting golf clubs, please contact NGCAA chief executive Alistair Smith. 

The National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association (NGCAA)

The Threshing Barn, Homme Castle Barns,

Shelsley Walsh, Worcestershire, WR6 6RR

Tel: 01886 812943

email info@ngcaa.co.uk



Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 19, 2019 14:21 Updated
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