What would change for Employment law under Labour?

May 29, 2024 11:03 am Published by

The Labour Party have recently published a paper entitled ‘Labour’s plans to make work pay’ and we thought it would be useful to summarise some of the changes they plan to introduce within 100 days if they win the election. 

Banning zero hours contracts

Labour plans to ensure that all jobs provide a baseline of security and predictability, banning zero hours contracts and ensuring all employees have the right to have a contract that reflects the number of hours they regularly work, based on a twelve-week reference period. 

Ending ‘fire and rehire’

Labour plans to reform the law to end the practice of fire and rehire. They want to ensure that workers’ terms and conditions negotiated in good faith can’t be ended under threat of dismissal. 

Basic day one rights

The paper also proposes that all workers will have basic individual rights from day one, protecting them from unfair dismissal and giving them rights to parental leave and sick pay. However they stress that this will not prevent fair dismissal for reasons of capability, conduct or redundancy, or probationary periods with fair and transparent rules and processes. 

Single status of worker

The Labour party proposes a move away from a three-tier system of employment status (of employees, workers and the self-employed) towards a single status of worker which distinguishes workers from the genuinely self-employed. 

Redundancy rights

Labour plans to strengthen redundancy rights and protections e.g. by ensuring that the right to redundancy consultation is determined by the number of people impacted across a business rather than in one workplace. 

Self-employed workers

The paper also proposes strengthening the rights and protections of self-employed workers, including the right to a written contract.

Family-friendly rights and flexible working 

Labour plans to build on the recent changes introduced by the government making the right to request flexible working a day one right. Labour also plan to make parental leave a day one right and are considering introducing paid carers’ leave. They would also like to introduce the right to bereavement leave for all workers. 

The right to switch off

The Labour party plans to bring in the ‘right to switch off’ because they can see that a culture of presenteeism is damaging to morale and productivity. Equally there are circumstances where employers may need to contact workers. As such they want to ensure workers and employers have constructive conversations in order to develop bespoke policies and contractual terms that benefit both parties. 

Technology and surveillance

Labour also plans to work with workers and their trade unions to examine what AI and new technologies mean for work, jobs and skills and how to safeguard against the invasion of privacy through surveillance technology, spyware and discriminatory algorithmic decision making. 

Fair pay

Labour has plans to ensure the minimum wage is a real living wage that people can live on. They want to strengthen statutory sick pay and make it available to all workers from day one, removing the waiting period.

Trade Unions

The paper also proposes that employers, unions and government work together to end strikes. Labour wants to introduce a new duty on employers to inform all new employees of their right to join a union as part of their written statement of particulars from day one. 

If you would like to discuss any of the proposed changes and how they would affect your organisation feel free to get in touch via help@yourhrpartner.co.uk

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This post was written by SKHR