Navigating the election chaos: implications for HR | Moorepay
May 30, 2024

Navigating the election chaos: implications for HR

As the 4th of July General Election looms, organisations that employ people are bracing for significant upheaval. As it stands, Parliament is prorogued, and dissolved from 31 May.

A legislative nightmare: what’s at stake for HR?

The snap election means many Private Members’ Bills previously adopted by the Government hang in the balance. With only half of these bills fully implemented, the future of several pieces of employment legislation remains unclear. Typically, when Parliament is dissolved, ongoing business dies with it. And any change in government could shift legislative priorities, potentially revoking or significantly amending existing laws. Similarly, recently announced legislative proposals are now, effectively, dead in the water.

Current proposals in limbo

Several key pieces of employment legislation are currently in consultation or progress and may be affected:

  • ‘Fire and Rehire’: Controversial practices that could face stricter regulations.
  • Tribunal Fees: Possible reintroduction of fees for employment tribunals.
  • Non-compete clauses: Restrictions that constraint employees from joining competitors’ post-employment.
  • Industrial action (minimum service levels): Legislation aiming to maintain minimum service levels during strikes.
  • Fit notes: Changes to the process and requirements for sick notes.
  • TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment): Amendments affecting business transfers and employee rights.

Private Members’ Bills at risk

Several Employment (Private Members) Bills in progress are likely to fall:

  • Paternity leave (bereavement): Enhancements to paternity leave in cases of bereavement.
  • Bullying and respect at work: Legislation aimed at improving workplace culture.
  • Fertility treatment (employment rights): Protections for employees undergoing fertility treatments.
  • Unpaid trial work periods: Measures to regulate unpaid trial periods for new hires.

Adding to the complexity are numerous bills that have received royal assent but are not yet fully enacted:

  • Tipping Act 2023: Already provisionally delayed until October.
  • More predictable working pattern: Legislation facilitating more predictable work.
  • Worker protection (sexual harassment): Enhanced protections against workplace sexual harassment.
  • Neonatal care (leave and pay): Entitlements for neonatal care.
  • Auto-enrolment (reduction to age 18): Lowering the age for automatic pension enrolment to 18.

What’s next?

Over the next month, we will gain insights into the likely priorities of the parties competing to become the next government. However, until the day of the King’s Speech, initial political intentions and priorities remain speculative.  Even then, we should remember the post-2019 election Queen’s Speech that promised a ‘ground-breaking’ Employment Bill. It never, ever, materialised and still hasn’t!

Currently, in terms of the above proposals and legislation, all we know is… we don’t know.

Implications for business

Moorepay is closely monitoring key employment statements emerging from the main parties daily. We’ll be keeping clients informed. And, when the new government declares its intentions, we’ll be there to ensure clients are ready to adapt to any significant changes in HR legislation. Understanding the nuances of proposed changes and their potential impact for your organisation will be crucial in navigating a period of considerable uncertainty.

With many legislative proposals in flux, and new political promises emerging daily, staying informed, prepared for various outcomes, is important. As always, Moorepay will be there for clients, providing information so you can adapt swiftly to major changes in HR legislation, codes of practice, statutory regulations etc. We remain your key to HR compliance, providing guidance and support through inevitably turbulent times for the business community.

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mike fitz
About the author

Mike Fitzsimmons

Mike is a Senior HR Consultant within the Moorepay Policy Team. He is responsible for the developing of employment documentation and is an Employment law advisor. With over 30 years of senior management and HR experience, Mike has managed teams of between 30 and 100 employees and is familiar with all the issues that employing people brings. He has also served as a non-executive director on the Boards of several social enterprises and undertook a five year tour of duty as Executive Chair of a £30+ million annual turnover Government agency.