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Employment Law implications from Party Manifestos

May 30, 2017

The UK parties have now published their manifestos the implications for employment law issues are summarised below.

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:

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.

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