As the Labour Party take the helm of the Government, this will mean changes for businesses, employers and employees but what might that look like?

Labour’s pledges within their manifesto, which there are over 60, included significant changes to employment law and rights for employees as set out in Making Work Pay.  When will we see these new rights and what will it mean for us?

Realistically, it could be as early as October that changes start to take effect. However, there may be some pledges, that will likely have potential for delays as it works it through government and becomes legally binding statute.

Some of the day one rights that have been put forward are:

  • Day one right to unfair dismissal
  • Day one right to flexible working (this means it the “right to request” element of it would be removed) unless “not reasonable feasible”.

Other items we can expect to see some movement on are:

  • Removal of the lower earnings limit on SSP (it is likely this will take longer to review and implement – given that a full and detailed consultation would be required).
  • Review of Parental leave – and how this can be improved for families.
  • Potential for paid carer’s leave.
  • Statutory bereavement leave (although in Scotland we are already au fait with Compassionate Leave).
  • Right to disconnect – this has already been implemented in some European countries.
  • Contracts are likely to be affected, with the talk about Workers and Employees being as one. There was also mention of changes to Zero hours contracts and potentially Self Employed Contracts.
  • The National Minimum Wage to take into account the cost of living, with specific reference to the care sector.
  • Enhanced rights for pregnant workers.
  • Extended tips laws, if applicable.
  • Unions – simplifying the process for union recognition.

We are already aware of the Conservatives prevention of Sexual Harassment due to come in October 2024, [Video – Gravitate HR] however it is likely that the Labour Government will look to enhance this, i.e., putting a duty on Employers to take ALL steps to prevent sexual harassment instead of reasonable steps. In addition, they may re-introduce the liability for third party harassment i.e. it’s your responsibility to ensure you are implementing mechanisms in preventing harassment and third-party harassment in the workplace, for example review your day one induction, review your contracts and policies and procedures. It’s your defence! Create working conditions free from harassment.

 What can we do to prepare?

Review or redraft contracts as it is likely that all contracts will be impacted by the proposed changes.

Check and review policies including Disciplinary, Parental leave, Carer’s leave, Flexible working, Harassment, Sickness, Redundancy, Whistleblowing, Tips (if applicable) making sure they are compliant and cross referenced.

However, it is not good enough to have policies and procedures amended, it will be important that there is understanding of these new amended procedures amongst your line managers. You may want to consider line management training or briefing sessions, to ensure you managers can confidently manage new rights for employees and that these are applied consistently across your business.

Do you have the resource to do this internally? If not, why not book a call with us, 20 min call – Gravitate HR, and we can discuss how best to support you and move forward

  • To keep you compliant
  • To build a workplace that is engaging for all
  • To inform and upskill all your employees
  • To make work pay for you