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By Spencers Solicitors

  Simon Turton    
  December 2, 2019

General Election 2019 – Impact on Employment Law

With the General Election just around the corner we take a brief look at the three main parties’ manifestos and how they will impact on employment law.

Conservative Party

The Conservative Party manifesto offers little in both future promises and detail, preferring to focus on what they have so far done in government.

However, some of the future promises include:

  • Centralised body for labour standards
  • Unpaid carers leave entitlement increased to a week
  • Increased access to paternity leave for fathers
  • Reduction of the disability employment gap
  • Stricter scrutiny for employers taking advantage of employment law
  • Increased redundancy protection for new mothers
  • Increased childcare funding for both before and after school as well as holidays
  • Better support for the self-employed

Labour Party

The Labour Party manifesto focuses heavily on improving the rights of workers however much like the Conservatives there is a lack of detail regarding how these will be implemented. Some of the key proposals include:

  • New living wage of £10 p/h for all people 16+ by 2020
  • Full employment rights available immediately
  • Shift workers to be paid for cancelled shifts
  • Increase in power for Trade Unions
  • 32 hour working week within 10 years with no wage cuts
  • Abolishment of zero hours contracts
  • Increased protection for whistleblowers and increased unfair dismissal rights
  • Increase in statutory maternity pay to 12 months (currently 9 months)

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrat manifesto has fewer promises and focusses more on bringing the current law into the 21st century. Some key pledges made in the manifesto include:

  • More power to trade unions including the ability to attend the workplace
  • Conducting an independent review to introduce a new living wage
  • Large companies forced to publish data on gender, race and sexual equality in addition to pay gaps
  • Workers on zero-hours contracts to be paid 20% above minimum wage
  • Worker Protection Enforcement Agency to enforce the manifesto promises
  • Make flexible working available to everyone
  • Employers encouraged to invest in employees’ mental health with reduced business rates incentives
  • Agency workers and zero-hours workers to have the right to request fixed term contract after 12 months

Each manifesto is filled with proposals that intend to change the scope of employment law and give an indication of how employment law will transform, depending on the outcome of the election. However, as manifestos are not legally binding there is no guarantee that the promises contained within will come to fruition.

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