The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill received Royal Assent on 18 September 2023, becoming the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023.

For more information on the Bill's proposals, please see our previous blog here on predictable working patterns.

Myerson Solicitors' Hospitality and Leisure team explore the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 and the ACAS Code of Practice.

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Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023

The Act confirms, amongst other things, the following:

  • A worker can make two requests for predictable terms in any 12-month period and cannot make any other statutory applications (such as a flexible working request) while an existing application is live;
  • The statutory request must be based on unpredictable working patterns that relate to the number of hours the worker works, the days and times they work or the length of their contract;
  • The employer must deal with the request within one month of the request being made;
  • The employer can reject the request on specific business grounds, such as a detrimental impact on the employer's business, planned structural changes or insufficient work during the periods that the worker proposes to work. They can also reject the application if the worker has ended their contract for a reason other than the employer's conduct or the employer has fairly terminated the worker's contract;
  • If a request is granted, the employer must offer a new contract to the worker within two weeks from the date the request is granted. The new terms and conditions must be no less favourable than the worker's existing terms and conditions, and they must reflect the change relating to the worker's work pattern that was subject to the application; 
  • If a worker has failed to attend a meeting to discuss their request, including any appeal and fails to attend a re-arranged meeting without good reason, their application will be considered withdrawn;
  • A worker has the right to not be subjected to any detriment because they have made or intend to make a request or they have issued legal proceedings against the employer in relation to their request. 

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ACAS Code of Practice

ACAS has now published its first draft of a new statutory Code of Practice to help workers and businesses understand the law and to provide guidance on how requests should be made and considered.

The consultation period for public consideration of the Code of Practice closes on 17 January 2024. 

The Code will not be legally binding, but it will be taken into account by the Employment Tribunals when considering complaints brought by workers.

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Next Steps

Whilst employers should be mindful of the proposed changes, the Act is not expected to come into force until around September 2024, giving employers time to prepare for the changes.

Once the ACAS consultation period closes and the Code of Practice is finalised, employers should look to implementing appropriate policies and procedures to deal with requests for predictable terms in advance of the Act coming into force.   

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Contact Our Hospitality and Leisure Team

If your business requires assistance with drafting the relevant policies and procedures or legal advice on how to deal with any statutory request, please contact the Myerson Hospitality and Leisure or Employment Law Team on:

0161 941 4000