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1 Week To Go - Change In Employment Law Is Coming...

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1 Week To Go - Change In Employment Law Is Coming...

With one week to go until the General Election, we have summarised each of the main political parties election pledges in relation to employment law, and provide our view as to the impact these may have! To avoid any politic persuasion – we have listed the parties and their policies in alphabetical order!

The Conservative Party

Their main employment law policies include:

  • An overhaul of the fit note system to move from GPs completing the notes, to other specialist health professionals. This would be integrated with a new “WorkWell” service to provide tailored support to help people stay in or return to work;
  • Continuing the implementation of minimum service level agreements in relation to periods of industrial action;
  • Introduction of mandatory National Service for all school leavers at age 18 – this will either be a year- long full-time placement in the armed forces or cyber defence, or the equivalent of one weekend a month volunteering in the community for a year;
  • Amending the Equality Act 2010 so that the protected characteristic of sex means biological sex. Further legislation would also provide that an individual can only have one sex in the eyes of the law across the whole of the UK; and
  • The creation of 100,000 high quality apprenticeships in England.

Our view: The Conservatives have some wide ranging policies, many of which are not a surprise. The biggest impact may be any changes made to the Equality Act 2010 and any consultation around these proposed changes would assess any negative impact on any minority groups and how this could be mitigated or taken into account.

The Green Party

Their main employment law policies include:

  • Repealing any anti-union legislation and introducing a Charter of Workers’ Rights containing a right to strike and a legal obligation on employers to recognise Trade Unions;
  • Increasing NMW to £15 per hour, regardless of age;
  • Campaigning for “safe sick pay;
  • Moving to a 4-day working week;
  • Equal rights for all workers from day one of their employment, including platform workers, zero hours and gig economy workers;
  • Bringing platform workers under a single legal status of “worker”;
  • Introducing legislation to so that gig employers that repeatedly break employment law would denied a licence to operate;
  • Abolishing tribunal fees; and
  • Introduce a right to flexible working.

Our view: Many of the Green Party’s policies appear to lack any detail of how they would be implemented, therefore it isn’t as clear as some other parties as to how these changes would work in practice.….and yes, you did read right, they have pledged to abolish tribunal fees that don’t exist! There is a clear focus on worker’s rights across different types of contractual arrangements, and this would therefore appear to be a focus should they be elected.

The Labour Party

Their main employment law policies include:

  • Ensuring the minimum wage is a genuine living wage – the age bands would be removed to entitle all adults to the same minimum hourly rate;
  • Introducing a Race Equality Act to address equal pay and strengthen protections against dual discrimination;
  • Modernising gender recognition law to remove indignities for trans people while retaining the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a specialist doctor to enable access to the healthcare pathway. In addition, they would support the implementation of single-sex exceptions in the Equality Act 2010;
  • Banning exploitative zero hours contracts;
  • Ending some fire and rehire practices;
  • Introducing a day 1 right to sick pay, parental leave and unfair dismissal – although they have suggested that probationary periods would have “special treatment”;
  • Moving to a single status of “worker” for all other than the genuinely self-employed;
  • Extending tribunal limits for all claims from 3 months to 6 months; and
  • Making flexible working a default right unless employers have a good reason to refute it.

Our view: The Labour Party have pledged to make changes within 100 days of coming into power. They have however, also discussed that they wish to fully consult with organisations, individuals and businesses over the changes. It is therefore likely that the changes within 100 days will result in draft legislation only. It is no surprise that Labour wish to strengthen workers rights, and this is a huge focus in the manifesto. There is some concern over the extent of the changes (a day 1 right against unfair dismissal….) but many would welcome simplifying employment status!

The Liberal Democrats

Their main employment law policies include:

  • Establishing a new ‘dependent contractor’ which is between employment and self-employment;
  • Changing the burden of proof in Employment Tribunal’s so that the employer has to disprove employment status, rather than the employee proving their status;
  • Introducing SSP rights from Day 1 and consulting with smaller employers on providing support with associated costs;
  • Introducing a new protected characteristic of ‘caring’ and ‘care experience’ – this will result in employers being required to implement reasonable adjustments for those employees with caring responsibilities and introducing paid carer’s leave; and
  • Introducing a new family friendly ‘use it or lose it’ right of month’s leave for fathers and partners, paid at 90% of earnings (capped for high earners).

Our view: The Liberal Democrats have a focus on employee rights – although you may be confused as to the difference between the proposed new “dependent contractor “ status and the current “worker” status – your guess is as good as ours! The proposals seem practical and generally would be welcomed by employees.

Reform UK

Their main employment law policies include:

  • Abolishing IR35 rules to support sole traders;
  • Scrap many laws ‘that make it riskier to hire people’;
  • Leaving the European Convention on Human Rights and introducing a British Bill of Rights; and
  • Repealing “the Equalities Act 2010” and abolishing diversity, equity and inclusion roles within organisations.

Our view: Reform UK’s policies appear focused on abolishing what they view of prohibitions, rather than introducing any meaningful legislation….and no, the Equalities Act was not a typo, but a direct quote! It is therefore difficult to fully assess the impact their proposed changes would have, but there will be obvious concern regarding the dilution of any discrimination rights.


Overall it is clear that all parties see employment status, discrimination, and increased minimum rights as key issues to address. The extent to which legislation will change will obviously depend on which party is successful on 4 July. What is clear is that change is definitely on its way, and organisations will need to ensure they are aware of any forthcoming changes to legislation to avoid falling foul of any news rights!