News & Views

Election 2015: there may be trouble ahead!

BY Heather Kemmett
Employment law
BG Purple

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few months, it won’t have escaped your attention that the General Election is nearly upon us. It will be no surprise that employment rights are high on the agenda of the UK’s political parties.

We’ve sifted through the hype and propaganda to bring you the headline employment law manifesto promises from the main contenders. Read on to find out how the employment landscape could change in the coming months. 

The Conservative Party pledges to:

  • Remove exclusivity clauses from zero hours contracts
  • Raise the NMW to £8 by the end of 2020
  • Increase the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 by the end of 2020
  • End six-figure payoffs for public sector workers
  • Toughen the law around industrial action
  • Create an extra 3 million apprenticeships over the next 5 years
  • Eradicate abuse of migrant workers

The Labour Party pledges to:

  • Introduce rights to strengthen the position of workers on zero hours contracts
  • Increase the NMW to £8 before 2020
  • Promote payment of the living wage
  • Increase free childcare from 15 hours to 25 hours
  • Guarantee that primary schools will provide pre and after school clubs
  • Double paid paternity leave from 2 to 4 weeks
  • Abolish the tribunal fee system
  • Close loopholes in the Agency Workers Regulations
  • Require every firm with a major government contract to provide apprenticeships
  • Require large companies to publish gender pay gap information
  • Reverse “shares for rights” scheme
  • Reintroduce the 10p tax
  • Guarantee a paid job for all young people unemployed for one year and for those over 25 unemployed for two years

The Liberal Democrat Party pledges to:

  • Eradicate abuse of zero hours contracts
  • Improve enforcement of non payment of the NMW
  • Encourage employers to provide more flexible working
  • Increase paternity leave to a month
  • Provide 20 hours of free childcare
  • Review employment tribunal fees
  • Require large companies to publish gender pay gap information
  • Encourage employers to shortlist disabled candidates for interview

The Scottish National Party pledges to:

  • Take action to end the use of zero hours contracts
  • Increase the NMW to £8.70 by 2020
  • Promote the living wage in the public and private sector
  • Provide 30 hours of free childcare
  • Increase paternity leave
  • Strengthen maternity protection
  • Compel large companies to publish gender pay gap information
  • Restore the 90 day consultation period for redundancies affecting 100 people of more
  • Increase employee representation on company boards
  • Ensure that women represent 50% of members of public boards in Scotland

 The UK Independence Party pledges to:

  • Introduce a code of conduct for use of zero hours contracts
  • Raise the tax free personal allowance to £13,000
  • Increase enforcement of the NMW
  • Fully review childcare provisions
  • Facilitate the exit of the UK from Europe, allowing UK employers to choose British citizens first, restricting access to cheap overseas labour and end EU relocation grants
  • Incorporate existing EU rights into UK employment law

 The Green Party pledges to:

  • End use of zero hours contracts
  • Increase the NMW to £10 by the end of 2020
  • Phase in a 35 hour week
  • Introduce a maximum pay ratio of 10:1 between the highest and lowest paid in every organisation
  • Reduce employment tribunal fees

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