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Elections and employment law

03 April 2015
Elections and employment law

I am still contemplating who to vote for so I thought it would be interesting to write about Labour’s pledges in relation to the workplace/employment law.

It is interesting to note that Labour has announced that it would abolish the employment tribunal fee system. This would inevitably mean more claims being lodged at the employment tribunal. And if they abolish the current fee system and introduce an entirely new one, Claimants will be in the same situation as they are now, unless however, the fees are reduced significantly, which will make it more affordable for Claimants to lodge claims against their employers.

Labour also pledges to:

  • Raise the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 before 2020, bringing it closer to average earnings.
  • Ban zero hour contracts – if you currently use zero hours contracts and it works well for your business, then this will have an adverse effect on your business and current arrangements.
  • Guarantee a paid job for all young people who have been out of work for a year, and for all those over 25 and out of work for two years. It will be a job they will have to take or lose benefits. It would be great to see everyone in a job, but would you do a job that you do not want to do or you are too qualified to do?
  • Tackle bogus self employment in construction and set up a full inquiry that is transparent and public to examine the issue of blacklisting. This has always been a concern. The construction industry has a lot of contractors and there is always uncertainty, despite a consultancy agreement as to whether the contractor is self employed or employed. Just because the contractor pays his NI and tax does not necessarily mean he is self employed!
  • Double paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase the level of pay so that dads receive the equivalent of a full week’s work paid at the National Minimum Wage.
  • Support working families by expanding free childcare from 15 to 25 hours a week for working parents of three and four year olds. This would be welcomed by most parents.
  • Ensure that all primary schools guarantee access to wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm.

A lot of promises!  Can they deliver? As an employer, do you want to see the above changes?


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