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Actions speak louder than works

LEGISLATION CHANGES

(PT. 2) THE GENERAL ELECTION: LEGISLATION CHANGES MAY IMPACT EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE

As promised, part 2 of our election blog, this time we’re focusing on employment law, legislation and tribunal with a brief overview of each party’s proposed changes (from what we understand), and how these changes or updates may impact employees and employers.

So far it’s looking like the Tory party has only made two changes: https://boldmove.co.uk/employment-legislation-changes/ and Labour and the Lib Dems are pushing ahead with some positive new proposed legislation.

Labour

As we said last time, LABOUR has pledged within the first 100 days of their administration:

  • Employees will have the right to claim unfair dismissal from the first day of their employment (current qualifying period is 2 years) and the time limit for making employment claims increases from 3 to 6 months.
  • The national minimum wage will become real living wage, removing current age bands so all adults are entitled to the same (amount / figure tbc).
  • A ‘right to switch off’ policy will be launched in order to support work-life balance, meaning employees can / should / will disconnect from work communications outside of working hours. We do wonder how this will work for those who do flexible hours – maybe employers can email only but those emails don’t have to be read or replied to until that person is at their desk, as it were.
  • Harassment-Free Workplace was debated in the Worker Protection Act of 2024 but subsequently removed by the House of Lords. Labour wants to protect employees and whistleblowers by passing legislation, requiring employers to prevent workplace harassment (including 3rd parties).
  • A ban on ‘exploitative’ zero-hours contracts (we have yet to understand what is deemed exploitative) and zero-hour contract workers can request a Right to Request Fixed Hours contract reflecting their average hours over a 12-week period.
  • Right now, employment status is either classed as self-employed employee or worker. Labour intends to reduce this to a 2 tier system that simplifies the classification to either worker or self-employed.
  • New processes will be required for employers so that the fire and re-hire tactics are hugely limited.
  • Labour will spearhead an Enforcement Body which will have the power to take action against exploitation and be granted the powers to inspect workplaces.
Lib-Dems

The Liberal Democrats are championing their Fair Deal manifesto which is pushing for better rights, particularly for working parents and those with disabilities. Their proposed legislation changes include:

  • That employers will need to disprove employment status rather than employees proving it.
  • Zero-hour and agency workers can request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months and there will be a 20% wage increase for zero-hour contract workers during ‘normal demand’ periods (we have no idea what this means and suspect it will be a key issue for employers and employees).
  • Lib Dems want to encourage employee ownership by requiring limited companies of 250 employees or more a right to request shares.
  • A new ‘dependent contractor’ category will provide minimum earning levels, sick pay, and holiday entitlements. Again, we aren’t sure what benefit this will have or how it differs from what is currently offered.

www.boldmove.co.uk has worked with many PR and Communications agencies and marketing teams to develop benefits packages, create inclusive interview processes and drive DEEI. Drop ellie@boldmove.co.uk a line to discuss ways we can work together.


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