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The major parties have now launched their election manifestos and below is a brief summary of how they are planning the address employment law related issues. As we know, manifestos don’t always translate into reality,  however this may be useful background information for you.


Labour’s manifesto slogan of ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ is reflected in its 20-point plan on workers’ rights. Corbyn has pledged to replace the Great Repeal Bill with the EU Rights and Protections Bill, safeguarding workers’ rights derived from the EU. A few key points are:

  • abolish tribunal fees
  • make all employment rights active from ‘day one’, and extend them to workers
  • abolish zero-hours contracts, suggesting all employees must be given at least some guaranteed work each week
  • legislate to ensure all employers recruiting workers from abroad do not undercut British workers
  • the much-anticipated repeal of the Trade Union Act
  • a living wage for all of at least £10 by 2020 for all workers aged over 18
  • no more unpaid internships
  • double the amount of paid paternity leave
  • gender pay auditing compliance
  • right to trade union representation for all workers

The Liberal Democrats seek to ‘Change Britain’s Future’ to achieve a sustainable economy by introducing the following key policies:

  • abolish tribunal fees
  • extend the Equality Act to all large companies of 250 or more employees and require them to introduce pay gap reporting in relation to gender, race and sexual orientation
  • enforce name-blind recruitment in the public sector
  • tackle the abuse of zero-hours contracts
  • make the right to flexible working, paternity and shared parental leave rights from day one of employment
  • additional month’s paternity leave for fathers

The Conservatives launched their ‘Forward Together’ manifesto, and there were no huge surprises there either. May wants to reflect the changing economy by implementing the following key policies:

  • Executive pay packages subject to annual shareholder votes
  • national living wage would continue to increase to 60% of median earnings by 2020
  • continue to extend pensions auto-enrolment to small employers and make it available for the self-employed
  • the right to request unpaid time off to care for sick relatives
  • people working in the gig-economy will be protected – although it does not say how this will be achieved or what those protections are
  • workers’ rights conferred on British citizens from our membership of the EU will remain

Prior to dissolution, the Government’s White Paper on Brexit promised that employment law would remain untouched– although it was far less clear about how the courts would go about interpreting laws – such as the Working Time Regulations – that were introduced to implement EU directives.


If you have any questions on the implications of these proposals fro your organisation don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Obviously this note is for information only – I would wish to influence any decisions you make!

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