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Claire Taylor-Evans


With Labour winning the UK general election Claire Taylor-Evans, Partner discusses what might be in store for HR.


As Labour are now in power, HR are in for a busy time! Labour has set out a comprehensive range of proposed changes in their Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering a New Deal for Working People.

These include:

  • Unfair dismissal becoming a day one right as opposed to the current two-year qualifying period of employment.  This would have a huge impact on employers and an already overwhelmed Tribunal system.
  • The right for employees to have a contract which reflects the hours they regularly work, based on a twelve-week reference period.
  • An extension of tribunal time limits for bringing all claims from three months to six months
  • Protection from dismissal for those returning from maternity leave for six months after return.
  • A requirement for employers with more than 250 employees to have a menopause action plan.
  • An obligation on large employers to develop, publish and implement gender pay gap action plans. Currently, employers with over 250 employees must publish a gender pay gap report but there is no requirement to take remedial steps or publish action plans.
  • New duties on large employers to produce ethnicity and disability pay gap reports.
  • Amendments to the threshold test for collective redundancy consultation requirements so that instead of it being based on each workplace or “establishment”, it will be based across the whole business. This will significantly increase responsibilities of employers in redundancy situations.
  • A requirement for the section 1 statement issued to all new starters to inform staff of their right to join a trade union.
  • The introduction of a right to disconnect which would follow models in Ireland.
  • An end to the use of fire and rehire practices.
  • Flexible working becoming a default right unless employers have a good reason to refuse it.
  • Significant changes to Trade Union legislation to remove the requirement for fully postal ballots for industrial action, simplify the process of union recognition and a right for trade unions to access workplaces for recruitment and organising purposes.
  • The introduction of statutory bereavement leave for all workers.


Action Points for HR

It is likely to be a busy time for employment practitioners and HR. Labour have committed to legislating within 100 days of the election, so there is likely to be significant changes for HR to grapple with before the Autumn.

With family friendly rights, diversity, pay transparency and flexible working featuring heavily in the manifesto pledges, there are practical steps that can be taken now to ensure HR get ahead of the curve.

If enacted, the expansion of pay gap reporting will create additional compliance obligations for larger employers and increased scrutiny of pay practices by employees, leading to potential discrimination claims. Planning for this now by early information gathering and undertaking audits is prudent.

Extending dismissal protection for maternity returners, increasing parental leave and the requirement for employers to publish menopause actions plans along with the proposal that flexible working should be the default, will require careful consideration by employers and comprehensive training for all those who manage staff. 


For further information, or for advice or support on how we can help you prepare for the changes in store contact Claire Taylor-Evans, Partner at Boyes Turner LLP.

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.

Get in touch

If you have any questions relating to this article or have any employment issues you would like to discuss, please contact the Employment team.

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