Employment law shake-up proposed post general election

Changes to zero hours contracts and commitments to increase the minimum wage feature in an employment law shake-up planned by all the major political parties should they come to power at the General Election.

A significant overhaul of several areas of employment law in England are at the centre of the manifestos and statements made by the five largest parties, according to an analysis carried out by employment law experts at Langleys Solicitors, York.

The balance between the rights of workers and the efficient running of businesses is proving to be one of the biggest areas of contention in the run-up to Thursday’s General Election, says the law firm.

Commenting on the analysis, Kate Hindmarch, partner in the employment team at Langleys, said: “While there is a lot of disagreement between the parties, there are some common threads running through most of the parties’ commitments.

“All the major parties have made a commitment to making changes to zero hours contracts – at the very least you can expect exclusivity clauses in these contracts to be outlawed in the next Parliament.

“There also appears to be a consensus between the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats that larger employers should publish details of pay to try to diminish the difference in pay between men and women. The Conservatives and Labour also seem to agree that the national minimum wage should be increased to £8 by the end of 2020.”

Langleys’ evaluation of the planned employment law changes shows UKIP also supporting changes to zero hours contracts including a ban on care home workers being employed on the contracts. The party says it will increase enforcement of the national minimum wage.

The Green Party says it will increase the national minimum wage to £8.10 in 2015 and to £10 by 2020. It also plans to phase in a 35-hour working week and reduce employment tribunal fees.

Kate added: “All the major parties appear keen to stand up for the rights of workers and many of the proposals will have implications for businesses. It will be interesting to see which proposals are introduced post the General Election.”


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