It’s party time; how do you choose yours?.

By Sofia Syed on 30 April 2015

I’m guessing that your electoral choice is unlikely to be governed by the proposals put forward by each of the parties in respect of the UK Employment laws. Whilst it is not likely to be a deciding factor, Government views on employment legislation, do actually shape a lot of our lives….
For your information and just because I am interested, I will share the highlights from the manifestos of the three main parties:

The Blues

As they have been in government over the past five years, they have already brought in a great number of changes, including radical changes to family leave and the introduction of tribunal fees.

In their manifesto they say that, they will additionally:

– make it more difficult for unions to call strikes. Any strike will  require at least 50% turnout, the support of at least 40% of those entitled to take part in ballots, and a majority among those who actually vote.
– “encourage” employers to pay the living wage, whenever they can afford it. There has not yet been any suggestion of incentives for employers that do so.
– ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts;

The Reds

State that they will:

– abolish the Government’s Employment Tribunal fee system” – though it is not clear what they might replace it with. The current fee system raises £9m in revenue, how will Labour match this? Fees for employers perhaps?
– increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour by 2019
– ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts and introduce a right to a fixed hours contract after 12 weeks of regular working. Introduce a new ACAS Code of Practice.
– “double paid paternity leave” from two weeks to four weeks, and increase paternity pay by more than £100 a week.
– consult on allowing grandparents to share the four weeks’ unpaid parental leave a year.

The Yellows

State that they will:

– extend paternity leave to 6 weeks to encourage fathers to take time off to care for their children. This would not be shared under the SPL system.
– consult on introducing five days’ paid “care leave” for workers who are also full-time carers.
– encourage more employers to pay the living wage.
– review the tribunal fee system with a view to lowering the fees.
– “stamp out abuse” of zero hour contracts by introducing a formal right to request a fixed contract, and consult on introducing a right to make patterns of work contractual after a period of time.

So will you choose based on the employment law pledges? It seems whichever party comes in,we can expect confirmation of a ban on exclusivity clauses in the zero hour contracts. If the Tories are not in government again, then perhaps a reduction in Employment Tribunal fees and an increase in family leave, may be on the cards.

Insights.

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