General Election 2024

The UK general election is due to be held on 4 July 2024, and a Labour government, which is currently the predicted outcome, would mean some potential amendments to employment law. The Labour party has outlined around sixty potential reforms to employment law, and they would aim to bring these in during their first one hundred days in office.

The details are yet to be confirmed, but the main changes, should Labour win the election, are expected to be:

  •  Introducing unfair dismissal rights from day one of employment, as opposed to after two years’ service. It seems that employers will still be able to use probationary periods, although it is yet unclear how these will work alongside unfair dismissal rights.
  • Extending the time limit for bringing Employment Tribunal claims and removing the compensation caps.
  • Banning zero-hour contracts (with some possible exceptions if the employee requests one);
  • Increasing rights to request flexible working and predictable hours;
  • Increasing the ability of trade union representatives to enter workplaces;
  • Combining ‘workers’ and ‘employees’ into the same category with respect to their employment law rights;
  • Introducing stricter rules around artificial intelligence (AI);
  • Reviewing shared parental leave;
  • Increasing protection for workers against sexual harassment;
  • Increasing statutory sick pay, removing the lower earnings limit and removing the waiting days;
  • Increasing minimum wage and the removal of age-related minimum wage categories;
  • Repealing the recent anti-strike laws;
  • Banning, or more strictly regulating, ‘fire and rehire’ (the practice of terminating an employee’s contract and re-employing them immediately afterwards on new terms and conditions);
  • Enforcing the requirement for employers to report on disability and ethnicity pay gaps;
  • Increasing employees’ rights in situations of redundancy, TUPE transfers and whistleblowing;
  • Promoting the right to switch off from work, by moving away from a culture which expects employees, especially those who work from home, to be permanently available to answer phone calls and e-mails.
  • Banning unpaid internships, except when they are part of an education or training course;
  • Changing the laws around how staff in hospitality receive their tips;
  • Introducing compulsory menopause action plans for large employers; and
  • Making it easier for employees to raise individual grievances and collective grievances.

It is less clear what a Conservative government would introduce, but changes may include:

  • Reintroducing Employment Tribunal fees;
  • Limiting the duration of non-compete clauses in restrictive covenants;
  • Enhancing paternity leave for fathers whose partners die in childbirth;
  • Redefining the word ‘sex’ in the Equality Act 2010 to mean ‘biological sex’;
  • Introducing paid neonatal care leave for parents to care for seriously ill newborn babies;
  • Reforming industrial action laws; and
  • Reforming fit notes, with professionals other than GPs able to issue them.

We will keep you updated on the above. If you have any questions, please contact us for advice by emailing or by phoning 01392 247436.

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