You are probably sick of politics at the moment but it’s important that I provide some information regarding the forthcoming general election. Should we end up with a Labour Government there are likely to be several fairly major changes to employment law in the UK. I will keep you updated on what these might be, and any timescales involved, when and if the time comes. This is of course hypothetical at this stage, as Labour might not win, but it seems at the moment in politics anything is possible.
The proposed changes under a Labour Government are likely to include:
1. Banning zero hour contracts and making employers issue a contract that reflects the actual hours
2.Removing the separation between employee and ‘worker’ status, which will have a big impact on employment agencies, and also potentially others who use casual workers
3. Having sector-wide collective agreements, which would mean that an employer in a certain sector (e.g. transport, or hospitality) would have to abide by them. In practice I think, under Labour, union membership would increase generally, and it may not matter whether your workplace historically has been ‘unionised’ or not
4. Making major changes to the minimum wage especially for young people with £10 an hour being talked about for those aged over 16
5. Placing a duty on employers to accommodate (rather than consider) flexible working requests
In the longer term there is talk of a four-day-week and various other changes. Even though Labour’s message at first glance might seem to be targeted at large employers, most of the proposed changes would affect smaller employers too.
As with any election, what a party promises on the campaign trail and what ends up happening can be two quite different things, but I will do my best to keep you updated.