UK: The Potential Employment Law Landscape After 7 May 2015

Last Updated: 5 May 2015
Article by Richard Isham

We are now in the final stretch before the General Election. The manifestos are published and the parties are hot on the campaign trail. Whilst the major focus is on the deficit and public spending, each party has published some key proposals in respect of employment law should they get into power, one way or the other!

Conservatives:

  • Apprenticeships – boost apprenticeships by 3 million over the next five years;
  • National Insurance - abolish National Insurance Contributions for the under 25s; introduce an "employment allowance" which will free smaller businesses from the first £2,000 worth of employer NICs;
  • Reduce business rates;
  • Strike action and unions - "protect you from disruptive and undemocratic strike action" in essential services by requiring the support of 40% of all those entitled to take part in strike ballots and requiring a majority of those who do actually vote, to legitimise strike action; repeal the ban on hiring agency staff to cover for striking workers; tackle intimidation of non-striking workers; legislate to ensure that unions are transparent in relation to any opt-in to pay subscriptions; reform the role of the Certification Officer;
  • Equality - increase opportunities for the disabled in the workplace and work for full gender equality, including enforcing the requirement that companies, with 250 or more employees, publish gender pay statistics;
  • Pay - accept the Low Pay Commission's recommendation to increase NMW to £6.70 per hour this autumn (currently £6:50), so as to be "on course for a minimum wage of over £8 per hour by the end of the decade"; support the living wage (2014 – London £9:15 and elsewhere £7:85) and encourage businesses to pay it, when they can afford it; take steps to eradicate abuse of workers, such as non-payment of the National Minimum Wage,
  • Casual workers – ban exclusivity provisions in zero hours contracts and exploitation of migrant workers.

Labour:

  • Pay - increase tax to 50% for those who earn more than £150,000 per annum; increase the National Minimum Wage to £8 per hour by October 2019; improve the link between executive pay and performance by "simplifying pay packages" and requiring investment and pension fund managers to disclose how they vote on pay; ensure that employees have a place on remuneration committees; provide a tax rebate to businesses that sign up to "Make Work Pay" by having contracts that commit to paying the living wage; require public companies to report on whether or not they pay the living wage;
  • Casual workers - ban "exploitative" zero hours contracts and those who work regular hours for 12 weeks, will have a right to a "regular contract";
  • Childcare - increase free child care from 15 to 25 hours per week for working parents with 3 and 4 year olds; double paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase the amount of paternity pay from £140 to "more than £260";
  • Tribunal system - abolish the "tribunal fee system" – not the fees themselves?;
  • Apprenticeships - create thousands of apprenticeships by guaranteeing every school leaver, who gets the requisite grades, an apprenticeship on leaving school.

Liberal Democrats:

  • Childcare - give fathers an additional four weeks' leave – fathers only (not to form part of any shared leave); consult in relation to introducing five days' paid leave for workers who are also fulltime carers;
  • Interns - review the use of unpaid interns;
  • Pay beef up enforcement of the National Minimum Wage by doubling the number of HMRC inspections;
  • Tribunal System - review the tribunal fee system to see if it is a deterrent to  access to justice;
  • Casual workers - stamp out the abuse of zero hours contracts by giving workers the right to require a fixed contract to be issued to them; consult on introducing a right to make patterns of work contractual after a period of time (unspecified).

UKIP:

  • Immigration - By leaving Europe and restricting immigration, by way of a points system, this will give British workers some hope "for a brighter future"; allow British employers to favour British citizens (discrimination issues to be resolved?); end the availability of EU relocation grants (currently Euro 1,000);
  • Casual workers - introduce a legally binding code of conduct that requires those employing 50 or more to give workers on zero hours contracts a full or part-time "secure contract" (undefined) after one year, if requested.

Green Party: 

  • Pay - increase the minimum wage to £10 per hour by 2020; introduce a maximum pay ratio between the highest and lowest paid person in every organisation, of 10:1;
  • Working hours  - phase in a 35 hour working week, so as to increase the number of people in work by spreading the amount of work available between more of the work force;
  • Casual workers - end exploitation of workers by the abuse of zero hours contracts (how not stated) and only allow interns to work unpaid for a maximum of 4 weeks;
  • Tribunal system - reduce employment tribunal fees; reinstate funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission;
  • Equality - ensure effective action to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities (how not stated); enforce penalties against employers who implement unequal pay; support the Speaker of the House's proposal to set up an Equalities Committee; legislate to remedy the inequality in pension inheritance for same sex marriage and same sex civil partners; make equal pay for men and women a reality; make it a requirement that 40% of all members of public company and public sector boards are women; ensure laws that prevent discrimination against women on grounds of pregnancy and maternity are properly enforced.

So, there you have it, the future for employment laws following the election – unadulterated. That said, of course, whether anything that is set out in the manifestos will actually manifest itself in reality, who knows?  With a coalition likely, whatever a particular party wishes to achieve, it is likely to be diluted in practice.  Furthermore, the devil will be in the detail as to how these broad policy statements may be implemented through the passing of detailed legislation and regulations.  We hope that you find the "heads up" useful, but we would suggest that you do not either act on the points set out above yet, or hold your breath...

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions