So what if Labour do win the election?  | Moorepay
June 27, 2024

So what if Labour do win the election? 

It looks like labour have this in the bag, so get ready for what’s in their manifesto and how that will impact HR.

If the polls are correct and the Labour Party are to win the General Election on 4 July 2024, under their plan to “make work pay”, they pledge to ”boost wages, make work more secure and support working people to thrive”.

Whilst this may sound like welcoming news for employees, such a strap line is likely to cause some concern for employers. We look at the changes employers will face under Labour’s manifesto.

Higher pay for under 21’s

Currently National Minimum Wage (NMW) regulations allow for lower rates to be paid to employees under 21 years of age. Labour set out to remove the age bands so all adults will be entitled to the same amount.

Low Pay Commission is an independent body that advises the government about the National Living Wage NLW and the NMW. Labour plan to revise their remit to ensure that the NMW is in line with pay and offers a “real” living wage.

Enhancing Sick pay terms: Removal of waiting days for Sickness absence

Under current legalisation employees who take time away from work due to illness are not entitled to any form of payment until their forth day of absence. Those who earn less than the lower earnings limit currently set at £123 per week are not eligible for any payment at all regardless of the time they have away from work. Labour plan to make SSP payable from the first day of absence and remove the lower earnings limit.

Longer disciplinary process for employees with short service  

Currently employees are required to have a minimum of 2 years’ service to be able to make an unfair dismissal claim. This often allows employers the opportunity to shorten the disciplinary procedure for those with short service. Labour plan to put a stop to this by removing the qualifying period to allow employees the right to make a claim from their first day of employment.

Tightening up the legalising around the use of zero hours contracts

Often employers place employees on zero hours contracts that does not guarantee them a set number of hours each week but they expect them to work regular hours. Labour plan to put to stop to this by ensuring that all employees have a contract that reflects the hours each employee regularly works over a 12-week reference period.

End to fire and rehire practices.

Employers have been known to change employees’ terms and conditions of employment by making their role redundant then offering them re-engagement on reduced terms. The Labour party pledge to put greater controls in place to stop this practice.

​Introducing the “right to switch off”

The Labour party are committed to improve work life balance by introducing new legislation that will prevent employers from contacting their employees outside of their normal working hours.

Increase in family friendly provisions.

Under their manifesto, Labour have committed to implementing the following changes to family friendly legislation.

  • Removing the requirement for employees to have a years service before being eligible for parental leave. The new plan will make it available from their first day of employment.   
  • Making it unlawful to dismiss a woman who is pregnant for six months after her return, except in specific circumstances.  
  • A review of careers leave including examining if this leave should be paid. Currently employers are not legally bond to pay anyone during their careers leave.

Introducing the right to take bereavement leave. 

Whist the majority of employers will allow their employees time off following a bereavement of a close family member or friend they are not legally required to do so (with the exception of parental bereavement which allows parents time off after the death of their child under the age of 18). Labour set out to introduce the right for all employees to be able to take bereavement leave.  

Giving employees ownership of tips

Labour pledge to assist employees who work in the hospitality sector to increase their take home pay by strengthening the laws that prevent employers having any assess or control of their tips, ensuring they receive them in full and workers decide how tips are allocated.

Ethnicity and disability to be included in pay gap reporting

The Equal Pay act sets out the principle that all workers, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or disability, are entitled to equal pay for equal work.  

However, existing legislation does not currently require businesses to include the difference in pay for ethnicity or disability. Labour plan to make it mandatory for organisations with 250 or more employees.

Larger firms will be required to develop, publish and implement action plans to close their gender pay gap.

Tougher legislation on employers’ duty to prevent sexual harassment

Labour plan to stop sexual harassment at work by toughening the legislation around the legal duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to stop sexual harassment at the early stages. This obligation will be extended to third parties such as customers and suppliers.

Plans to support women through the menopause

Organisations with more than 250 employees will be required to produce menopause action plans, setting out how they will support their female  employees through the menopause. These plans could include polices on temperature- controlled areas in offices, , alteration’s to company uniform and dress code polices, and paid time off.

Making it easier for collective grievances to be raised

Within the manifesto, Labour say they will introduce mechanisms for workers to raise any collective grievances about their employer an strengthen the protection for those raise such formal complaints from suffering any negative repercussions for doing so.

Changes in Redundancy consultation and greater TUPE tights

Labour state that they will strengthen redundancy rights and protections, by ensuring the right to redundancy consultation is determined by the number of people impacted across the business rather than in one workplace. They also plan to strengthen the existing set of rights and protections for workers subject to TUPE process.

Further Advice and Support

If you have would like further assistance on the impact a change a government will have on legislation please call our Advice Line on 0345 073 0240 (selecting option 2) for more specific guidance, tailored to your individual company.

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gillian
About the author

Gillian Smith

Gill has over 10 years HR generalist experience within the retail and industrial service sectors.Whilst providing HR support and services at the most senior levels Gill’s experience includes mergers and acquisitions, complex TUPE transfers, organisational development, and strategic change management. Gill has experience in the policy development process from design, consulting with directors and employee representatives through to implementation and delivering training workshops on the new polices. Gill currently is an HR policy consultant who services a variety of clients.

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