2024 is being labelled as "the year of Democracy" with more than 50% of the global population eligible to vote in major elections. A changes of office can bring uncertainty to many areas of legislation, with new policies introduced, and others ended, as the new Government looks to deliver on their mandate.

We are expecting to see a General Election called in the UK sometime this year, and if we do see a change of Government, it could create an entirely new employment landscape. The Labour Party promised an Employment Bill within the first 100 days of office, and have set out some very interesting proposals which could have big impacts on businesses and employee rights.

Here is a summary of some of those proposals:

  • Ban on zero hour contracts
  • Enhancing day one rights, including the right not to be unfairly dismissed
  • Extending unfair dismissal to all workers, and removing the limits on unfair dismissal compensation and changes to time limits to bring a claim
  • Repeal the strikes minimum service level, recently brought in
  • Update trade union laws
  • Simplify the statutory recognition process to see more trade union representation
  • End fire and rehire practices
  • Introducing proper min wage
  • Tackle the gender pay gap
  • Introduce sick pay for all workers
  • Introducing the right to switch off, and ensuring sleep and travel time over hours are paid
  • Strengthening maternity and paternity leave
  • Creating single status of work for all but the genuinely self-employed

There is little detail as to how Labour would plan on implementing these policies, and some areas are very complex. These planned reforms are aimed at improving employees' wellbeing, work-life balance and pay equity, and are part of a broader set of proposals published as part of a Green Paper "A New Deal for Working People".

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