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No 10 Red door PR & comms recruitment Labour's employment law



As the Labour Party takes over the helm at No.10, the plan to focus heavily on the New Deal for Working People as a key part of its government agenda seems to be unchanged. The final manifesto was released on June 13, 2024. It outlines significant (close to 60) changes to employment law and legislation across the UK within the first 100 days of taking office. It’s going to be interesting to see which of Labour’s employment law, if not all, are pushed through quickly.

The cabinet representation seems to be cleverly thought through, particularly from a socio-economic and gender perspective. Just under half are women and 96% having come through the state school education system.  The PM has appointed James Timpson (CEO of Timpson), as the minister for prison, parole and probation in a move focused on getting ex-prisoners back into the workplace.

Right now we have the most ethnically and gender-diverse parliament in history coupled with true lived experiences, interests and passion driving the new cabinet in their individual roles. Labour’s manifesto promises to strengthen worker’s rights and whilst there’s a great deal of clarification needed and some woolly wording around the size of businesses some of these changes will affect, ultimately much of the employment legislation makes sense and is much needed.

We’re seeing reform plans that include a restructuring of the points-based immigration system in order to connect it to skills. A new public body to encourage young people into apprenticeships is to be launched, it will widen opportunities for work experience and narrow the skills gap we have at the moment.

What do Labour’s proposed employment laws mean for you?

So, comms people, PR & communications agencies, HR folk, brands and marketing teams, what are Labour planning? Here’s the top line…

  • 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.
  • Flexible working (for everyone) is, from day 1, a genuine right.
  • In addition to the stipulations contained in the 2023 Redundancy Act, it will be against the law to dismiss a pregnant woman for 6 months after they return to the workplace.
  • Employees will be entitled to sick pay from the first day of employment.

  • Amendments to the Race Equality Act will legally guarantee that Black, Asian and other ethnic minority workforce will be guaranteed equal pay as well as pay gap data reporting will be required from large businesses (we don’t know how large) based on ethnicity and disability.
  • Parental rights and pay will kick in from day 1 of employment and not from 26 weeks.
  • Anyone who has a business that employs more than 250 people will need to have a menopause policy and plan in place.

  • Introduce a right to bereavement leave for all workers and the possibility of paid carers’ leave.

  • Make it unlawful to dismiss a pregnant worker for six months after their return to work “except in specific circumstances” (yet to be defined).

  • Strengthen the rights and protections for workers subject to TUPE processes.

  • Ban unpaid internships except when they are part of an education or training course.

The team at www.boldmove.co.uk works in partnership with brands, agencies and #HR to strengthen the diversity and range of talent coming into all areas of #communications including #PR #marketing #digital #creative #socialmedia #strategy

You can reach us on ellie@boldmove.co.uk (07976008842) or julia@boldmove.co.uk (07753982819) to chat about how we can support your recruitment and growth.

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