Changes to Employment Regulations That the UK Labour Party Is Likely to Bring

Changes to Employment Regulations That the UK Labour Party Is Likely to Bring

6 Changes to Employment Regulations That the UK Labour Party Is Likely to Bring

The probable change in government means the UK Labour Party will have a different approach to employment law. The article explains the likely shifts in employment law so that your business is better placed to face these changes and how they may impact on your HR operations in Gloucestershire and the UK.

1. Workers' Rights

Labour has said that it wants to ban or severely restrict zero-hours contracts in favour of more secure and regular working hours. But the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act, which comes into force this September, will go a significant way toward realizing that aspiration. Labour will also introduce the new single worker status, bringing together what is currently a confusing array of different categories of workers into two broad categories: employees and self-employed. This definition of "worker" will avoid some ambiguities and therefore allow workers, as a consequence, access to some statutory entitlements such as notice periods and sick pay.

2. Enhanced Worker Protection

Labour seeks to reduce the length of service requirement in relation to protection from unfair dismissal, from two years to one year, and extend day-one rights for workers. There may be a temptation that businesses get around disciplinary processes during probation and the first year. Given this change, it would be prudent to have a formulated disciplinary framework and manager-facing policies outlining how these new laws will be implemented while still maintaining a positive employer brand.

3. National Minimum Wage and Internships

Labour will increase National Minimum Wage and take action on unpaid internships and tips. I am not sure how much of this is bringing coals to Newcastle as much of it is either in train or was happening anyway – you can't usually get away with offering unpaid internships unless you are a charity.

4. Sickness and Fit Notes

Labour is going to revamp their system of Statutory Sick Pay to make it more accessible by removing the qualification criteria. Current debates on tightening fit notes only treat symptoms; Labour's way addresses root workplace attendance issues. Their philosophy is to have the UK follow past European Union practice, which may be helpful to business as well through clearer and more consistent guidelines.

5. Bringing Standards at Par with EU

Even with Brexit, UK businesses should be interested in developments relating to EU employment directives, particularly where their business has European outlets or where they recruit workers from Europe. As an illustration, since 2013, the EU has restricted probationary periods to a maximum of six months, including any extension. The proposed Labour Party labour law reforms might mirror these trends, thus keeping UK firms competitive and in line with the best international practices.

6. Recruitment and Apprenticeships

Labour instead is touting improvements to domestic training and apprenticeship programs, which carries an objective of evading the skills gap that makes companies recruit abroad. The Conservatives say they would make it more expensive for companies to hire foreign workers by increasing the restrictions and taxes of hiring foreign workers. Firms should also prepare themselves for increased pressures to cultivate and promote local talent through training and development programs.


Keeping up-to-date with changes in employment law is one of the keys to business success. It's therefore important that you understand and prepare for these proposed reforms by the Labour Party in order to keep your business compliant and competitive. For further advice, please call us to learn more about our Gloucestershire HR services and how we can help your business.

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