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Manifesto Pledges on Employment Law

Manifesto Pledges on Employment Law

With the General Election less than 10 days away, we’ve put the parties’ policies on employment law into one simple and easy-to-read article. We have outlined the key manifesto pledges for each party and identified some of the key trends that appear throughout.

We’ve chosen to list the parties alphabetically to maintain neutrality throughout.

Manifesto Pledges

Here is a visual overview of the employment law pledges, to read it in full click on the image to enlarge.

What has the Conservative party pledged in terms of employment law?

  • create a single enforcement body and crack down on any employer abusing employment law

  • ensure that workers have the right to request a more predictable contract

  • encourage flexible working

  • allow parents to take extended leave for neonatal care, to support those new mothers and fathers who need it during the most vulnerable and stressful days of their lives

  • look at ways to make it easier for fathers to take paternity leave

  • extend the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers

  • we will fund more high-quality childcare before and after school and during the holidays.

What has the Labour party pledged in terms of employment law?

  • increase living wage of £10 per hour for all workers aged 16 or over

  • compel large companies to give employees 10% ownership of the company (to include payments of dividends)

  • bring in additional rights for the self-employed, including free childcare, collective income protection insurance schemes and better access to mortgages and pensions

  • set up a Ministry for Employment Rights, which will roll out (it seems) compulsory collective bargaining on minimum standards for pay and working hours by sector, that every employer will have to follow

  • give everyone full employment rights from day one on the job

  • strengthen protection for whistle-blowers and strengthen unfair dismissal rights

  • clarify worker status

  • ban zero-hour contracts

  • require breaks during shifts to be paid

  • extending statutory maternity pay from 9 months to 12 months

  • introduce four new bank holidays

  • re-introduce employer's liability for harassment by third parties

  • ban unpaid internships

  • reduce average working hours to 32 hours per week within ten years

  • keep employment tribunals free

  • make State (not individuals) responsible for enforcing equal pay

  • require workplaces with >50 employees to obtain government certification on gender equality or face fines

  • require all large employers to have flexible working and menopause policies

  • introduce 10 days of paid leave for survivors of domestic abuse

  • extend pay-gap reporting to BAME groups.

What has the Liberal Democrat party pledged in terms of employment law?

  • expand the rights and benefits available to those in insecure forms of employment, such as offering parental leave and pay to the self-employed

  • establish an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine Living Wage across all sectors. We will pay this Living Wage in all central government departments and their agencies and encourage other public sector employers to do likewise.

  • establish a powerful new Worker Protection Enforcement Authority to protect those in precarious work

  • change the law so that flexible working is open to all from day one in the job, with employers required to advertise jobs accordingly, unless there are significant business reasons why that is not possible

  • modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the ‘gig economy’, including by:

    • establishing a new ‘dependent contractor’ employment status in between employment and self-employment, with entitlements to basic rights such as minimum earnings levels, sick pay and holiday entitlement.

    • reviewing the tax and National Insurance status of employees, dependent contractors and freelancers to ensure fair and comparable treatment.

    • setting a 20 per cent higher minimum wage for people on zero-hour contracts at times of normal demand to compensate them for the uncertainty of fluctuating hours of work

    • giving a right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months for ‘zero hours’ and agency workers, not to be unreasonably refused

    • reviewing rules concerning pensions so that those in the gig economy don’t lose out, and portability between roles is protected

    • shifting the burden of proof in employment tribunals regarding employment status from individual to employer

  • strengthen the ability of unions to represent workers effectively in the modern economy, including a right of access to workplaces.

Key trends addressed by all parties

Across the parties there are a variety of pledges being made; some more realistic than others, some more detailed than others and some more topical than others.

Despite this is there are some common themes covered by all three parties; the need for more uniformed regulation with regards to employment law, improvements to flexible working policies, greater legislation and protection for parents and self-employed individuals.

The general election takes place on Thursday 12 December and once we know who is in power, we will monitor their progress with regards to the employment law policies they have proposed.

Employment Law at Lawson-West Solicitors

If you have any queries in relation to employment, we can help you navigate this complicated area of law and achieve the most suitable resolution to your issue.

Contact Vaishali Thakerar, Head of Employment Law at Lawson-West Solicitors for advice and support.

0116 212 1059

Useful Links

Comparison of Party Manifestos - Employment Change Proposals - Comparison PDF to download

Conservative Manifesto

Labour Manifesto

Liberal Democrat Manifesto

Please note that this is a basic overview only and should not be construed or relied upon as advice. Lawson-West Solicitors accepts no duty of care to any third party in connection with this summary. Lawson-West Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. 

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