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General Election: Labour's campaign for employment law

View profile for Molly Mackay
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It's looking likely that the next General Election will be held in the second half of 2024.

In a bid to get your vote, The Labour Party have indicated their plans for an employment rights bill to be implemented within the first 100 days of taking power, should they be elected.

Some of these possible proposals which have been taken from Green Papers, speeches and campaign documents include: 

  • Amendments to Day One Rights - Proposal to offer protections from Day One that currently require two years of service, including protection against some forms of unfair dismissal. The removal of qualifying times could also apply to sick pay and parental leave. In addition, they are proposing to increase Statutory Sick Pay. 
  • Ban zero hour contracts – Labour have proposed to ban zero hour contracts and contracts with no minimum number of guaranteed hours, with the aim of increasing job security. 
  • End fire and rehire - Labour have also proposed to end the practice of ‘fire and rehire’ where an employee is dismissed and then offered immediate re-engagement on different terms, by updating various employment regulations. 
  • Changes to NMW - The Labour Party have proposed to expand the Low Pay Commission’s remit so that the national minimum wage would take account of the cost of living. 
  • Changes to work/life balance - Possible changes to the work/life balance of employees could include the legal right to disconnect.
  • Amendment to single ‘worker’ status - Proposals for changes to status include creating the single status of ‘worker’ for everyone other than a ‘genuinely self-employed’ individual and ensuring that all workers will be granted the same basic rights and protections. These could include sick pay and holiday pay, for example.  
  • Amendments to the Equality Act 2010 – Labour have proposed to introduce a duty on employers to take reasonable steps to stop sexual harassment before it starts, together with a new statutory code of practice setting out the obligations on employers. This could include having effective and well-publicised policies and procedures, providing appropriate training and assessing foreseeable risks. Employers would be liable if they had been informed of any sexual harassment and did not take appropriate steps or had not taken measures to prevent it in the first place.
  • Menopause - Guidance for businesses surrounding support for employees experiencing the menopause with the aim of encouraging more to remain in work. Supportive measures could include, for example, managing workplace temperature and offering flexible working. Discussions have also occurred around a requirement for employers with over 250 employees to publish and implement a “menopause action plan” that sets out how they are supporting employees experiencing menopause symptoms. Paid time off, working environments with temperature-controlled areas and uniforms alterations could also be included in the action plans.
  • A new Race Equality Act – Would seek to tackle structural racism, including the issue of low pay for ethnic minorities, with fines for organisations not taking appropriate action on their pay data. 
  • Rights of Trade Unions – Changes have been proposed to amend the rights of trade unions, including repealing the Trade Union Act 2016 as well as making it easier for unions to be recognised. 
  • Disability Pay Gap Reporting– Labour plan to introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting for larger businesses.  
  • Reasonable Adjustments - They also intend to facilitate workers securing reasonable adjustments.

Are these welcome changes and would they secure your vote?