I was lucky enough to be in Oregon for the election which meant because of the 8 hour time shift I could go to bed at midnight local time and see David Cameron drive off as the victor to London. We had of course voted before we left.

Before the election, the Conservatives made the following workplace promises.

  • Exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts will be unenforceable
  • The minimum wage will increase to £6.70 per hour in October 2015, aiming to reach £8 by 2020
  • Free childcare entitlement will be increased to 30 hours per week for all three and four-year-olds of working parents
  • There will be a reform of strike and industrial action law
  • The disability employment gap will be addressed with a mix of policy, practice and changing public attitudes
  • Businesses with 250+ staff will be required to publish the difference in average wages between male and female employees
  • Tougher regulations will be introduced to deal with illegal working and exploitation
  • The Agency Worker Regulations will be reviewed
  • A rapid resolution scheme will be introduced in employment tribunals
  • Provision of three days’ paid volunteering leave per year for people working in large companies and the public sector

In the absence of clear legislation, there are three key things to think about in the short term.

If you use zero hours contracts, remove exclusivity without pay clauses i.e. the requirement that the employee holds him or herself in readiness for the employer as needed but is not paid if there is no work.

Large organisations should consider their gender pay gap, if any (there shouldn’t be) and take steps to close unless justified by a material factor.

Make sure you can evidence that you have checked that all of your workers have the legal right to work in the UK. If not, get them sorted out.
Sajid Javid the now business secretary has also vowed to reduce the red tape that small businesses are enmeshed in this may easier to say than accomplish as lot it is tied with EU law which at present we cannot extract ourselves from

Finally let me again remind you about auto enrolment. If you haven’t done anything you must now approximately 46000 companies will have a vesting date this year apparently that will rise 460000/month next year.. You cannot ignore auto enrolment there will be fines for non compliance please contact me at mnewman@ukemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or on 0203 640 7748 to make sure you comply with the legislation.

Michael Newman