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Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Manifestos – Key Employment & Immigration Law Pledges

19 May 2017 #Employee relations

With the general election fast approaching, we have set out the key employment law points from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos.

C O N S E R V A T I V E S

This includes pledges to:

  • Increase the National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020
  • Offer more protection for those in the “gig economy” by reviewing the recommendations of the Taylor Report
  • Force listed companies to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal advisory council, or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director. Subject to ‘sensible safeguards’ employees will be able to request information about the future direction of the company
  • Legislate to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies must publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay
  • Review the application of exploitation in the Modern Slavery Act and strengthen criminal sanctions
  • Require companies with more than 250 employees to publish more data re the gender pay gap
  • Maintain workers’ rights conferred on UK citizens as a result of EU Law
  • Tighten the rules against abuse of pension schemes and increase the punishment for those caught mismanaging them

And on immigration

  • Double the Immigration Skills Charge to £2000 a year for companies employing non-EU skilled workers
  • Require students to leave the UK at the end of their studies unless they meet new higher requirements which will allow them to work in the UK
  • Invite recommendations about how the visa system can be better aligned with “a modern industrial strategy”. This could allow more visas for workers in strategically important sectors, including digital technology
  • Control and reduce immigration from within the EU, while still attracting skilled workers

L A B O U R

This includes pledges to:

  • Ban zero-hour contracts and unpaid internships. Regular contracts will be given to those working ‘short hours’ for more than 12 weeks
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act and increase rights/roles for trade unions and collective bargaining. Labour also intends to implement a policy that public sector contracts are only awarded to companies which recognise trade unions
  • Raise the Minimum Wage to the Living Wage (expected to be £10 per hour by 2020)
  • Impose a maximum pay ratio of 20:1 in the public sector between highest paid and lowest paid. This will also apply to companies bidding for public sector contracts
  • Abolish employment tribunal fees, although ACAS early conciliation will remain
  • Double paid paternity leave to 4 weeks (and increase paternity pay) and strengthen protection for women against redundancy related to maternity and pregnancy
  • Repeal changes made to TUPE in 2014
  • Abolish loopholes to the Agency Workers Regulations i.e. removal of the ‘Swedish derogation’
  • Introduce four new statutory bank holidays to celebrate our patron saints
  • ‘Clamp down on bogus self-employment’ by creating a presumption that a worker is an employee (unless the employer proves otherwise). Workers will be given the same employment rights as employees from day one and a dedicated commission will be set up to modernise the law around employment status

And on immigration…

  • Provide an immediate guarantee of existing rights for all EU nationals currently living in the UK and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens in EU countries
  • End freedom of movement post Brexit
  • Implement a new immigration system based on economic needs, balancing controls and existing entitlements – this may include sponsorship, work permits, visa regulations or a tailored mix of all of these

L I B E R A L   D E M O C R A T S

This includes pledges to:

  • Modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the “gig economy,” looking to build on the upcoming Taylor Report
  • Give employees on zero-hours contracts a formal right to request a fixed contract and introduce a right to make regular patterns of work contractual after a period of time
  • Ensure protections, such as maternity leave and rights to annual leave, derived from EU law are maintained post-Brexit
  • Scrap employment tribunal fees
  • Promote employee ownership by giving staff in listed companies with more than 250 employees a right to request shares, to be held in trust for the benefit of employees
  • Strengthen worker participation in decision-making, including staff representation on remuneration committees, and the right for employees of a listed company to be represented on the board

And on immigration…

  • Provide a unilateral guarantee of current rights for all EU nationals presently in the UK
  • Press for the UK to unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK, ending their ongoing uncertainty
  • Maintain current freedom of movement of rights post-Brexit for EU citizens to work in the UK and vice versa

 

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Louise Merrell

Louise Merrell
Senior Solicitor

E: lmerrell@clarkslegal.com
T: 020 7539 8082
M: 0779 900 7325