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Miller Samuel Hill Brown Solicitors Blog

From time to time we will post news articles and announcements relating to the firm and to various legal issues that may be of interest to you.

General Election 2017 – What the Politicians have to say about Employment Law

Elections, referendums and Brexit have seemed to dominate the news for the past few months (if not years!) and Thursday 8th June marks another day of voting in the UK: the 2017 General Election. All of the major parties have now released their manifestos highlighting there aims for the country over the coming years. These manifestos also give us an early indication of where employment law might go should their party be forming a government come Friday.

Below is a summary of the pledges being made by those seeking election:

Conservatives

  • Preservation of employment rights derived from EU law (such as Working Time Regulations, discrimination law, TUPE etc.).
  • New right to time off to take care of sick relatives.
  • New right to request time off for training for all employees (currently only applies to employers with 250 employees or more).
  • New powers for the Pensions Regulator to scrutinise acquisitions that may impact on occupational pension schemes.
  • Extension of discrimination laws to cover discrimination against those suffering from health conditions that are episodic and fluctuating.

Labour

  • All rights under EU law guaranteed after Brexit.
  • Ban on zero hours contracts ensuring every worker receives a guaranteed number of hours per week (see our blog on the gig-economy).
  • Raise the national minimum wage for all workers aged 18 or over to the level of the national living wage.
  • Extend period of maternity pay to 12 months, increase the rate of paternity pay and double paid paternity leave to 4 weeks.
  • Abolition of Employment Tribunal fees.

Liberal Democrats

  • Defend existing social and equality laws.
  • Reform discrimination and equality laws to include: guarantee the freedom to wear religious or cultural dress, protection of gender identity and expression (not merely gender reassignment)
  • A legal requirement of name-blind recruitment in the public sector (and encouragement of it in the private sector).
  • Protection against abuse of zero hours contracts and create a right for workers to request a fixed term contract.
  • Abolition of Employment Tribunal fees.
  • Make flexible working, paternity leave and shared parental leave “day one” rights.

Scottish National Party

  • Ban on zero hours contracts and a commitment that all workers have appropriate rights and protections, including holiday pay and sick pay.
  • Backing the Women and Equality Committee’s recommendation to strengthen the Equality Act and protect pregnant women and new mothers against discriminatory practices (including redundancies).
  • Call for a change to the Equality Act to deal with discriminatory dress codes.
  • Increase the level of the living wage for all adults over 18 and increase minimum wage for 16-18 year olds and apprentices in line with any increases to the real living wage.

Time will tell if the government in waiting (whoever that may be) adheres to these policies or not. With more political change on the horizon through Brexit and a potential further independence referendum, this may mark the start of a period of significant change in UK/ Scottish employment law.

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