Manifesto Employment Highlights
As you might imagine all the three main parties are talking about worker’s rights in their manifestos. Labour are leading the charge with policies that cost industry rather than the government in an attempt to woo the worker. The Conservatives are also being fairly generous with employer’s bank accounts, while the Liberal Democrats want 16 year olds high on cannabis to rule the country.
Both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party would remove employment tribunal fees, while the Conservatives seem silent on that issue. However, as a quick look at what is on offer for your employees, this is what we have from Labour and the conservatives.
Labour Manifesto Employment Highlights
Labour is to look at the possibility of four extra bank holidays, one for each of the home countries patron saint. This is to be additional to statutory holiday entitlement, so I’m not yet sure what that means as there is no entitlement to statutory holidays
Everyone over the age of 18 to get the National Living Wage and the NLW to be £10 per hour by 2020. This would mean a 2.50 per hour increase for 25 year olds, £2.95 for 20 year olds and a fairly health £4.40 per hour for those of 18 and over.
All workers will have the same employment rights from day one, Whether full time, part time, fixed term contracts etc. At this point I would suggest that the Leader of or the Opposition gets some new advisers – this was done in 2000 and 2002 with the Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations and the Fixed Term work (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations
Abolish unpaid internships – I don’t want to be mean to JC, but his advisers really need to look at the relevant legislation – they are not legal now. If you have someone working, they must be paid the NMW. Charities may use volunteers, but industry may not. The only legal ‘internships’ are work experience for a couple of weeks – we are not in the USA.
For agency workers, they would introduce new rules and abolish the ‘Swedish Derogation”. This one could be a real pain and quite expensive for Employment Agencies and businesses trying to use them
And, anyone working regular hours (12 or more) will be entitled to have a regular contract of employment.
Of course, this is just a sample of the offer, there is other protection for those in the Gig economy, banning zero hours’ contracts etc. as well.
Conservative Manifesto Employment Highlights
The Conservatives say they will increase the NLW (to 60% of median earnings by 2020) – their figures show this to be around £8.75, so we are looking at a £1.25 increase over the next 3 years.
Protect workers in the Gig economy
Provide a right for employees to ask about the future of the company and employers are to create an Employee Advisory council – did I miss something; don’t we have that in the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004?
Increase the income tax allowance to £12,500
Increase the amount levied on businesses for employing foreign workers
All employees would be able to take a year off work – unpaid – to care for a relative and to not suffer any detriment, so perhaps a bit like maternity leave.
There is a pledge that no current worker’s rights will be affected by Brexit
And my favourite manifesto pledge – to simplify the tax system.
There is probably not too much point in looking at the ramifications of any of these pledges until we have a result, but whoever gets into No. 10 looks certain to make changes that will affect and cost industry more, and potentially to increase administration as well.