The General Election 2024 | Moorepay

Employment Legislation

The General Election 2024

Legislation

The General Election 2024

Date

4 July 2024

Summary

The forthcoming general election leaves many uncertainties. 

 

Much employment legislation is still under consultation or in progress and may be affected. Normally, parliamentary business ceases with the end of that parliament. 

If there is a change of government, priorities may also change, and even existing legislation may be revoked or significantly amended.

To provide some perspective, here are examples of expected developments that may now be affected:

  • Proposals: This includes ‘Fire and Rehire’, Tribunal Fees, and Industrial Action (minimum service levels).

  • Employment (Private Members) Bills: In process and now likely to fall, such as Paternity Leave (Bereavement).

  • Bills that have received royal assent but are not fully enacted: This includes The Tipping Act 2023, More Predictable Working Patterns, and Worker Protection (sexual harassment).

 

A Labour Government?

Of course, the main emphasis is on what Labour propose, should they be successful.

In short, their proposal suggests major changes.

  • Whilst many employers are nervous and some proposals are seen to support workers and unions in favour of employers, Labour has tried to reassure us that it’s “pro-worker and pro-business”. 

  • It has backed down on certain changes proposed, such as a total ban on zero-hour contracts, in response to feedback and concerns.

  • Labour’s plans have also faced criticism from the General Secretary of Unite. Despite this, their manifesto is still seen as “union-friendly”, with numerous proposals to enhance union rights, such as:

    • New rights for union access to workplaces to recruit members.

    • New rights for union representation in collective grievances.

    • Changes in notice periods and ballot procedures related to industrial action.

    • Proposed repeal of the Minimum Service Levels Act.

  • These union-related changes aim to “ensure good faith negotiation and bargaining” in the future.

 

Other proposals in Labour’s plan to “make work pay” are causing concern, with many saying that they will be very expensive, biased towards workers, and impractical for many businesses.

Examples include plans to:

  • Make the right to claim unfair dismissal a day-one right and extend the time employees can make a tribunal claim from 3 months to 6 months.

  • Remove waiting days and lower earning limits for SSP.

  • Equalize worker and employee rights to create a single status of “worker”.

  • Set the minimum wage at no less than £10 for all ages.

  • Introduce the right for employees to disconnect or “switch off” outside working hours.

  • Reverse current requirements for collective redundancy to apply to numbers exceeding 20/99 across the business, not just at a particular establishment.

  • Introduce equal pay rights concerning race and disability.

While the only certainty is uncertainty, the upcoming year promises to be very interesting and potentially challenging for employers and employment law specialists.

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