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    Home / News / General Election 2024: What each party is pledging for employment law

    General Election 2024: What each party is pledging for employment law

    As July 4 looms, our Partner Lynsey Howes takes a look at what each of the major parties is pledging around employment law.

    The General Election is almost upon us, with voters set to head to their polling station on July 4th.

    But what are each of the major parties pledging when it comes to employment law?

    In this blog, we take a look at how the outcome of the General Election could impact future reform and legislation.


    Conservative Proposals

    There are no major changes proposed to employment law, though the main takeaways from the manifesto are:

    • A change to the “fit note” system – sick notes in old language, to move the responsibility from GP’s to other healthcare professionals.
    • Cutting employee National Insurance by six per cent.
    • Abolish National Insurance for the self‐employed by the end of the next parliament.

    Labour Proposals

    Much more going on in the Labour manifesto which impacts employment law.

    Firstly, in respect of all proposed changes which Labour would like to make, is a promise to consult with businesses and unions prior to implementation.

    Subject to that caveat and any details which could emerge in the drafting, the proposal are:

    • Getting rid of exploitative zero-hours contracts.
    • Ending fire and rehire – though this has always been a rather controversial approach to take anyway.
    • Day one rights for sick pay and parental leave.
    • A day one right to claim unfair dismissal – currently two years of service is required before an employee can make this claim. Probationary periods may form a carve out to this right, but we will have to wait and see how this could be incorporated into any new legislation.
    • Altering the criteria for the annual review of minimum wage increases. To include one rate for all adults and removing the current banding for different age groups.
    • An extension for the time limit to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal from three months to six months for all claims.
    • Employers with more than 250 staff to have a menopause action plan.
    • Introducing a “right to switch off from your employer” – the aim being to protect non‐working time from encroachment from the employer.
    • Consulting on having a single status of worker to include all but the self‐employed.
    • Flexible working to become a default right unless a good reason to refuse it.
    • Making it easier for trade unions to gain recognition.
    • Giving trade unions the right to access workplaces for recruitment and organising purposes.
    • Introducing a right to unpaid bereavement leave.

    Liberal Democrats Proposals

    The Liberal Democrats also want to tackle status, introducing a new dependent contractor status which would sit between self-employed and employed people.

    This would include those dependent contractors having the following rights:

    • Minimum earnings, sick pay and holiday entitlement.

    They also propose the following changes:

    • An increase in minimum wage for those on zero-hours contracts of 20 per cent.
    • A right to request shares in listed companies with more than 250 employees.
    • Improve statutory sick pay so that it becomes a day one right – same proposal as Labour.
    • Extend the use of a blind recruitment processes.
    • Make parental leave a day one right – again, the same as Labour.
    • Increase statutory maternity pay and statutory paternity pay to £350 per week.
    • Introduce the protected characteristic of caring and care experience.
    • Introduce specialist disability employment support.
    • An adjustment passport – this will record adjustment and changes made for a disabled person and allow any equipment to stay with the person if they move job.

    Reform UK Proposals

    And finally the Reform UK proposals. The headlines are:

    • Abolish IR35 rules.
    • Scrap laws which damage productivity and make it riskier to hire people.
    • Replace the Equalities Act.
    • Scrap EU Regulations – this is because much of employment was originally based on EU legislation.

    It is clear that there are some very different proposals whoever should become the next government. How these actually translate in real life remains to be seen.


    01 July, 2024


    Phil Winter

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