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The General Election 2017 - from an employment perspective
01 June 2017

Following the recent employment-related news stories the major political parties have all included sections in their manifestos that have addressed their proposals for UK employment law.

With the general election less than ten days away we have taken this opportunity to briefly set out some of each party’s proposals and the potential implications these would have on domestic employment law:


Theresa May has sought to reassure voters that their existing worker rights will continue after Brexit as well as proposing a number of new rights will be created. These include a right to request unpaid time off for training for all employees, a right to unpaid time off to care for sick relatives, child bereavement leave, and new support for those returning to work after family leave. The Prime Minister has described her programme as the “greatest expansion in workers’ rights by any Conservative government in history”.


Jeremy Corbyn has also promised that all existing EU law rights will be preserved post-Brexit but at the same time proposed a thorough reform of employment law across the board. This includes abolishing employment tribunal fees, making all existing employment rights “day one” rights and extending them to workers. Labour has also pledged to ban zero hours contracts, an area that has received a lot of negative attention in the press in recent years. Their manifesto suggests further various improvements to equality law and employment status, while proposing the national living wage will apply to all workers over 18 (with an expectation that this will be £10 per hour by 2020).

Liberal Democrats

Tim Farron has also assured voters his party intends to stamp out abuse of zero hours contracts and create a right for workers to request a fixed-term contract. The Liberal Democrats would make flexible working, paternity and shared parental leave “day one” rights (requiring no qualifying service), create an additional month’s leave for fathers, extend free childcare places and abolish tribunal fees. The manifesto continues a drive for further diversity in the workplace and promises include introducing pay gap reporting in relation to gender, race and sexual orientation, introducing name-blind recruitment in the public sector, and addressing the issue of boardroom diversity.

For further information about the proposed changes to employment law and how it could affect your business, please contact us on [email protected] or call us on 0118 952 7284.  

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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