What does the General Election mean for employment law?

Employment law is taking a front seat in this year’s general election campaign, along with Brexit and security.

With the General Election today, we provide a brief summary below of the main parties’ manifestos with regards to how they may impact employment law.

Conservatives

Labour

Liberal Democrats

UKIP

Green Party

Brexit

All workers’ rights derived from EU law will be protected post Brexit (at least for the time being). Another referendum of Brexit on the terms of exit

Immigration

Firms employing migrant workers will need to pay a levy of £2,000 per worker, which is double the current level. This will, post Brexit, apply to EU workers as well.

Possible introduction of “Barista Visa” for the hospitality Sector – similar to a Young Worker Visa

Legislate to ensure that any employer wishing to recruit workers from abroad does not undercut workers in Britain New laws to require employers to advertise jobs to British citizens before overseas

Workers’ Rights

Extend the Equality Act to cover discrimination against those suffering from mental health conditions that are “episodic and fluctuating”

Right for employees to request information in relation to the future direction of their company, which may include information on takeovers, reorganisations and asset disposals

New right for employees to request unpaid time off for training

Give all workers equal rights from day one – although it is unclear as to what rights Labour are referring to specifically

Family Friendly Rights

New right to carer’s leave – allowing between 13 to 52 weeks off work, whilst retaining employment rights

New entitlement to child bereavement leave

Double paid paternity leave to 4 weeks and increase paternity pay Increase family friendly rights, including an extra month paid paternity leave

Make the right to request flexible working, paternity leave and share parental leave a “Day 1” right

Gig Economy

More protection for people working in the “gig economy” Give “gig economy” workers equal rights as employees Modernise employment rights for workers’ in the “gig economy”

Zero Hours Contracts

To be abolished and replaced with guaranteed weekly hours and ban unpaid internships Give workers with zero hours contracts the right to request fixed contracts and regular patterns of work To be abolished

Tribunals

Tribunal fees to be abolished Tribunal fees to be abolished

National Minimum and National Living Wage

Increase National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020 £10 per hour minimum wage by 2020 Review minimum wage

Working Time Regulations

Additional 4 days bank holidays (patron saints’ days) 4 day working week, with a maximum of 35 hours

Tax

Increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and increase the higher rate to £50,000 by 2020 1p increase on income tax for everyone Raise the threshold for income tax to £13,500 and higher rate threshold to be increased to £55,000

Cut taxes for middle earners

Restore personal allowance to those earning over £100,000

Others

Executive pay packages to be subject to annual votes by shareholders Enhanced trade union rights, including guaranteeing trade unions a right to access workplaces Pay reporting on ethnicity pay gap for organisations with 250 employees or more End the gender pay gap

At least 40% of board members in Plc’s to be women

 

For the first time since 2010, workers’ rights are strengthening and in view of the forecasted retraction of the economy, it is anticipated that more tribunal claims will follow and more employees are likely to qualify for remission of fees. Whilst welcome news for employees, it does mean that it is more important than ever that employees follow best practice when handling employee relations.

For more information, please call us on 0161 926 9969 or email us employment@mlplaw.co.uk