Hr Smart Logo

Labour’s 100 Day Plan For the UK Job Market

Labour's 100 day plan

On 5th July 2024, the UK’s Government is changing hands. Following 14 years of Conservative rule, Labour have won the General Election with a large majority, giving them a mandate to govern the Country.

So what is this likely to mean for the UK’s labour market, employees and employers. We have put a handy summary together for you below.

Employee Zero-Hours Contracts

Labour has long argued that Zero hours contracts give opportunities to employers to exploit workers and employees. They are planning to replace the current law with fixed hours across a twelve-week reference period. This provides more certainty for employees that they will be offered work and roughly how many hours that will be. This is likely to affect the hospitality and retail sectors the most.

End Ability to Fire and Re-Hire Employees

This update will aim to outlaw the practice of making employees compulsorily redundant and re-hiring them immediately on lesser contractual terms and benefits. This could impact any size of business but is more likely to impact medium to large Companies where the workforce is numerous and the benefits to the employer are significant. This change would not stop the normal redundancy process for the reason that the role is no longer available or the place of work is changing.

Implement Basic Employee Day One Rights

This change aims to abolish the current 2-year rule and would give all employees the right of Unfair Dismissal, Wrongful Dismissal and Constructive Dismissal claims from day one of their employment. It would also change the waiting period for Maternity and Paternity leave and the 3-day waiting period before Statutory Sick Pay is paid.

These are significant changes which will affect all employers. Our advice is to ensure that you have robust processes in place when you recruit to ensure any new employees have the right attitude and behaviours and possess the ability to carry out the role. We also suggest that every employee has a minimum probation period of six months to ensure that you have enough time to assess their suitability. Management of the probation period will become imperative if these changes are made.

Introduce Single Status of Worker

There are currently three forms of status in the UK being Employee, Worker or Self-Employed. Labour’s plan is to simplify these categories. We think they will try and merge the Employee/Worker categories together to form one status.

In our view, this would be a positive change as the current system is confusing to employers when trying to understand if someone is Self-Employed or employed.

Whistleblowers

Labour plan to update and strengthen the whistleblowing protections afforded by the current law, particularly focussing on women against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Self-Employment

Labour says that they want to improve upon the current requirements when engaging self-employed people. The changes that are proposed are a right to a written contract, tackle late payments and improve the health and safety requirements for self-employed workers. They claim that by strengthening the links with Unions, that this in turn will benefit the self-employed.

Employee Redundancy and TUPE Rights

Labour wants to change the current rules surrounding the number of people required in order to make consultation compulsory for affected employees from a workplace limit to a workforce limit.

Flexible Working

The new approach is to take the most recent changes in the Flexible Request Laws and build on them. This is expected to centre around using technological advances to allow people to work more flexibly and the use of flexi-time arrangements to help parents deal with education term and holiday periods.

Carers Support

The outgoing Government already made changes to law in 2024 regarding Carers leave, giving anyone who fell into this category the right to one weeks’ unpaid leave per annum. Labour is going to review this to see if paid leave would bring further benefits to carers and businesses.

Summary

Many of the areas being considered in Labour’s 100-day plan are planning to build on what the Conservative Government had already put in place. However, there are inevitably going to be more employee focussed changes coming in the next few months which all employers are going to have to be aware of and manage.

We understand your challenges as a business, and we understand how to manage changes such as those above. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Jon at jon@hrmartuk.com or call us on 01903 754107. See a full copy of Labour’s document here: https://www.hrsmartuk.com/hr-smart-resources/labours-plan-to-make-work-pay/

 

Recent Blogs

Tags

Transform your HR capabilities with HR Smart