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Find out if your business is ready for the Employment Rights BillDownload our whitepaper to see the impact on your business

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Find out if your business is ready for the new Employment Rights Bill and stay one step ahead with our expert HR policy advice
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Futureproof Your Business

Stay ahead of the changes with our local experts by your side.

Futureproof Your Business

Stay ahead of the changes with our local experts by your side.

Labour, the Employment Rights Bill and what it means for your business.

On 4th July 2024, the Labour Party won a thumping majority, putting them in government for the next five years.

One of their key pledges prior to election was the ‘Plan to make work pay’ – a green paper outlining their plans for reform to workers rights and employment law. And they didn’t waste any time getting ready to implement it. In the King’s Speech on 17th July, they announced the Employment Rights Bill, to be brought in front of parliament within the first 100 days.

This Bill is likely to bring about a raft of workers rights changes, with significant impact on small and medium sized business employers. In fact, it is the biggest shake up of employment law since the 1970s.

Until we have draft legislation, we don’t have much detail on what many of the plans will entail. We just have the key points that they wish to cover. Still, after that, the plans could well be diluted as they pass through parliament. However, with a majority of 172, we would expect much of what we know now to become legislation.

You may be thinking, what does this mean for my business? How should I be preparing? What is it going to cost?

Well, we’ve got you covered. On this page, you can find out everything you need to prepare your business. From the latest updates to our whitepaper documenting the impact it will have your business, or our quiz showing you how prepared your business is.

Alternatively, you can contact your local expert today. We are on hand to support you through every step of the changes, making sure your business is futureproof and your HR policy is on point.

Hit the button below and take our short quiz to find out if your business is ready.

How can you futureproof your business?

Download our Whitepaper to find out.

Stay up to date with the latest news

17th July 2024 - The King's Speech confirms Labour's commitment 'to making work pay'

In the King’s Speech, King Charles confirmed that the new government intended to bring in a new deal for working people, which would “ban exploitative practices and enhance employment rights”.

The Employment Rights Bill, which will be introduced in the first 100 days of Parliament, is likely to layout the largest changes to employment law since 1975.

Find out what it could mean for you here.

5th July 2024 - The Labour Party wins the general election

Labour are now in power, following a landslide victory.

We now wait to hear what changes to employment law will be coming about. During the election campaign, they promised changes within 100 days – so keep an eye out here to stay up to date with the latest news.

13th June 2024 - The Labour Party release their Manifesto

The Labour Party has released their manifesto – Change – in which they confirm their intention to enact their ‘Plan to make work pay’ in full.

Find out more about their plans.

11th June 2024 - The Conservative Party release their manifesto

We already know the trajectory of Conservative policy on employment law: a restriction on trade union activity; extension of the right to request flexible working; a ticking upwards of the National Minimum Wage and Living wage in line with Low Pay Commission recommendations; and the introduction of a week’s unpaid Carer’s Leave per year have been some of the recent initiatives. The most radical thing has probably been the post-Brexit shake up of who has a right to work in the UK.

Their manifesto is light on employment law proposals, suggesting more of the same. Some of their key, previously announced polices, could have an impact on SMEs, though. Mandatory National Service and overhauling the fit note process are some of the more eye-catching suggestions.

See the full manifesto here.

10th June 2024 - The Liberal Democrats release their Manifesto

The Liberal Democrats could have a role to play in a future Government, for example in the case of a Hung Parliament. They have released their manifesto, with detail on their legislative plans around employment law and workers rights. Some of their key points are outlined below.

 

  • Establish a powerful new Worker Protection Enforcement Authority unifying responsibilities currently spread across three agencies – including enforcing the minimum wage, tackling modern slavery and protecting agency workers. 
  • Establish an independent review to recommend a genuine living wage across all sectors, with government departments and all other public sector employers taking a leading role in paying it
  • Modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the ‘gig economy’, including by:
    • Establishing a new ‘dependent contractor’ employment status in between employment and self-employment, with entitlements to basic rights such as minimum earnings levels, sick pay and holiday entitlement.
    • Reviewing the tax and National Insurance status of employees, dependent contractors and freelancers to ensure fair and comparable treatment.
    • Setting a 20% higher minimum wage for people on zero-hour contracts at times of normal demand to compensate them for the uncertainty of fluctuating hours of work.
    • Giving a right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months for ‘zero hours’ and agency workers, not to be unreasonably refused.
    • Reviewing rules concerning pensions so that those in the gig economy don’t lose out, and portability between roles is protected.
    • Shifting the burden of proof in employment tribunals regarding employment status from individual to employer. 
  • Expand parental leave and pay, including making them day-one rights, as set out in chapter 9
  • Fix the broken Statutory Sick Pay system by:
    • Making it available to the more than one million workers earning less than £123 a week, most of whom are women.
    • Aligning the rate with the National Minimum Wage.
    • Making payments available from the first day of missing work rather than the fourth.
    • Supporting small employers with Statutory Sick Pay costs, consulting with them on the best way to do this.
  • Extend the use of name-blind recruitment processes.

Read their Manifesto in full here.

5th June 2024 - Politics in the workplace: how should you handle it?

From a drop in productivity to having to go through a disciplinary process, losing a member of staff to suffering reputational damage through a provocative social media post, there is the potential for many knock-on effects of a political argument at work. So how can you get ahead of the problem?

Check out our guidance here.

24th May 2024 - Labour announce 'Plan to Make Work Pay'

The polls suggest a win for Labour (although the polls have been wrong before!).

They have now released their Green Paper, outlining their plans for employment rights in more detail. The paper, called Plan to Make Work Pay, can be found here.

Our advice? Be prepared.

Take a look at what we are expecting from Labour here.

22nd May 2024 - Rishi Sunak Calls A General Election
The starting pistol has been fired for the six-week sprint to a general election which will be held on 4th July. Issues like small boats, the NHS and the economy may dominate much of the headlines, but the outcome of the election will be of huge significance to employment law too, and therefore SME employers.

We will keep you up to date with all the latest policy updates and news on employment law here.

How can The HR Dept support your business?

Implement Change

With workers likely to gain additional rights, you may want to implement certain changes within your business whilst you can. We can help you manage the people side of this.

Policies

Any upcoming changes will likely require major changes to many of your workplace policies. Remove the stress and worry of this by letting our HR experts take care of it.

Unlimited Advice

Get the guidance and support you need to ensure your business is compliant with any changes that happen. In person, over the phone or via email, you can access unlimited advice.

HR Audit

We will undertake a full audit of your current HR practices to ensure you have an action plan in place to futureproof your business in preparation for any changes

Is your business ready?

In order to futureproof your business, you need to know where you are at. The Employment Rights Bill will bring about the requirement for an upheaval in HR policy, procedure and practice.

We’ve created a short quiz to audit your current HR processes. Once completed, you’ll receive a personalised report which will give you an insight into what you can do to prepare for the future. Your local expert will follow up to talk you through it.

Get in touch to see how we can help you