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Parties spell out their employment law commitments

The recent publication of the political parties’ election manifestos  gives us a glimpse of how the workplace may change under each party. This article summarises the key commitments and links to other useful articles on emplaw.co.uk and to the manifestos themselves.

Conservative Party:

National minimum wage and living wage:

They support a NMW rise to £6.70 in autumn 2015 – (in line with recommendation by the Low Pay Commission). They support the living wage.

Pay and bonuses:

Require larger employers to disclose information on their gender pay gap (presumably implementing the requirement in the Small Business, Employment Enterprise and Employment Act 2015). End six figure payoffs for public sector workers.

Zero Hours Contracts:

Ban exclusivity (presumably implementing the provisions in the Small Business, Employment Enterprise and Employment Act 2015), enhance information and guidance to improve transparency.

Employment tribunal fees:

Committed to a review of the introduction of fees - as matter for future Parliament.

Discrimination

Want to increase the proportion of public appointments going to women in the next Parliament, as well as the number of female MPs.

 

Labour Party:

National minimum wage and living wage:

They want to raise NMW to more than £8 before 2020. They will encourage employers to increase the living wage through procurement/tax incentives.  Increase fines and NMW enforcement.

 

Pay and bonuses:

Ask larger employers to disclose information on their gender pay gap (presumably implementing the requirement in the Small Business, Employment Enterprise and Employment Act 2015). Improve pay transparency – by implementing a duty to disclose ratio of top pay compared to average.

Zero Hours Contracts:

They plan to give workers with regular hours to get the right to a regular contract. This would be measured over the first 12 weeks of employment. Also workers on zero hours contracts should have new legal rights to stop employers from being able to force them to be available at all hours or cancelling shifts at short notice without compensation.

Employment tribunal fees:

Ask TUC & CBI to agree tribunal reforms and abolish current fee levels.

Work and family:

Extension of paternity leave to 4 weeks and an increase in statutory pay. Consult on allowing grandparents to share the four weeks' unpaid parental leave a year.

Discrimination:

Strengthen the law against maternity discrimination.  Implement the dual discrimination provisions of the Equality Act.

 

Liberal Democrat Party:

National minimum wage and living wage:

They plan to instruct the Low Pay commission to consider ways to boost NMW. They promise to improve NMW enforcement and will establish an independent review to consult on a fair living wage across all sectors.

Living wage to be paid by government agencies and departments from April 2016 onwards.

Pay and bonuses:

Swiftly implement the  duty Small Business, Employment Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 to implement gender pay gap reporting. Boost pay discrepancy – including a duty to disclose the ratio of top pay compared to the average.

Zero hours:

Ban exclusivity, enhance information and guidance to improve transparency over ZHC terms and rights. Create a right to request a fixed hours contract and consult on introducing an entitlement to such a contract after a period of regular working.

Employment tribunal fees:

Review tribunal fees to ensure they are not a barrier to the enforcement of employment rights.

Work and family:

Encourage fathers to take Shared Parental Leave by introducing an additional ‘use it or lose it’ month. Introduce a right to paid leave for carers who qualify for the Carer’s Allowance.

Discrimination:

Support greater Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation on boards. Monitor and tackle the BAME pay gap. Introduce ‘name-blank’ job applications in the initial stages for public sector jobs.

 

The UK Independence Party:

National minimum wage and living wage:

Plan to increase enforcement of the NMW by reversing the cuts in the number of enforcement inspectors in England and Wales.

Zero hours:

They will not ban zero hours contracts but propose to introduce a legally binding Code of Conduct.

Discrimination:

Allow employers to choose to employ British citizens first.

 

Scottish National Party:

National minimum wage and living wage:

Promote the living wage and increase the NMW to £8.70 by 2020 across the UK. The Scottish Government pays the Living Wage to all of its own employees and to those covered by its pay policy – the SNP will call on, and vote for, the UK government to adopt the same policy.

Zero hours:

They will support tough action to end exploitative zero hours contracts.

Work and family:

Extend paternity leave and introduce a pilot scheme of leave for carers.

Discrimination:

Support 50% female representation on public and private boards and tightening maternity discrimination law.

 

The Green Party:

National minimum wage and living wage

The Green Party will increase the national minimum wage to £10 per hour by 2020.

Zero hours:

The Green Party states it will end exploitative zero hours contracts

Discrimination:

Propose 50% female representation on all public boards.

 

Plaid Cymru:

National minimum wage and living wage:

Will raise the national minimum wage to the living wage by 2020

Pay and bonuses:

Introduce a fair pay scheme linking salaries in a workplace to prevent spiraling executive pay

Zero hours:

More opposition to zero hours contracts.

 

Employment tribunal fees:

Reduce tribunal fee levels

 

The DUP:

National minimum wage

Work with the Low Pay Commission on a five-year plan to restore the real value of the Minimum Wage. The plan would ensure the lowest paid receive above inflation rises over the next five years.

Zero hours:

Fundamental reform of zero hours contracts including the removal of exclusivity

 

For more information:

Useful articles on Emplaw.co.uk

Summary of employment provisions in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2014

Is Mandatory Pay Gap reporting coming into force?

 The Manifestos

The Conservative Manifesto is found at

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/manifesto2015/ConservativeManifesto2015.pdf

The Labour Manifesto is at http://www.labour.org.uk/manifesto

And it has a workplace manifesto at http://b.3cdn.net/labouruk/0d7eac1a5ecd182f46_e8m6ivtck.pdf

And a womens manifesto at http://b.3cdn.net/labouruk/23e5d9b49ea69fc0d4_idm6bh3yq.pdf

The Liberal Manifesto is at http://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

The UKIP Manifesto is at http://www.ukip-richmond.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/theukipmanifesto2015.pdf

The SNP manifesto is at http://votesnp.com/docs/manifesto.pdf

The Green Manifesto is at https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/manifesto/Green_Party_2015_General_Election_Manifesto_Searchable.pdf

The Plaid Cymru manifesto is at: https://www.partyof.wales/2015-manifesto/

The DUP manifesto is at http://dev.mydup.com/images/uploads/publications/DUP_Manifesto_2015_LR.pdf