What Employment Law Policies are you really voting for?

With the General Election 2015 fast approaching (May 7th), the main parties have published their manifestos – we’ve taken a look at what the future could look like for employment law…


  • Support for real terms increased in the National Minimum wage – rising from £6.40 per hour to reach £8.00 per hour by the end of the decade
  • Prohibit the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts
  • Employers with 250+ employees required to publish the difference between the average pay of male and female employees
  • Restrictions to be put in place on the ability to strike – lawful strike action will only be able to take place where 50%+ of eligible workers have voted
  • Promise to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017


  • Also promised to increase the National Minimum Wage to £8.00 per hour by 2019 and increase the Higher Living Wage to £7.85 per hour
  • Zero hour contracts to be restricted – those working regular hours for more than 12 weeks will be entitled to a ‘regular’ contract
  • Employers will be prevented from undercutting the pay of permanent staff by using cheaper agency workers
  • Abolishment of the current Employment Tribunal fees system (unclear as to whether the fees will be abolished or a new system will be put in place)

Liberal Democrats

  • Aim to expand flexible working
  • Paternity Leave and Shared Parental Leave to become rights from day one of employment
  • Expand Shared Parental Leave and introduce a “use it or lose it “ month to encourage fathers to take time off to care for their young children
  • Employers with 250+ employers to publish details of pay differentials between men and women – by 2020, those employers will also be required to publish details of those who are paid less than the Living Wage and the difference between top and median pay
  • Measures in place to prevent employers from avoiding employment rights by wrongly classifying employees as workers or self-employed
  • In relation to zero-hour contracts, a right to request a regular-hours contract would be introduced and regular working patterns would become contractual after a certain period of time


  • UK to leave the EU – given that so many UK employment rights (such as those relating to unlawful discrimination, the regulation of working time, and paid holidays and rights provided under TUPE) derive from EU law, there promises to be a significant upheaval to employment law
  • If the UK left the EU, they will seek to incorporate EU derived rights into UK Law – with amendments
  • Employers would have the right to choose to employ British Citizens first
  • Regulate (not ban) zero-hour contracts

Green Party:

  • Increase the National Minimum Wage to £10 per hour by 2020 with the highest earner in an organisation earning no more than 10 times the pay of the lowest earner
  • 35 hour working week would be phased in, with an end to zero-hour contracts
  • Employment Tribunal fees would be reduced

Scottish National Party:

  • Increase minimum wage to £8.70 per hour by 2020 and ban zero-hour contracts

Plaid Cymru:

  • End zero-hour contracts and increase minimum wage to the level of Living Wage
  • ‘Fair Pay’ scheme to be introduced to link the pay of everyone within a company
  • Employment Tribunal Fees system to be reviewed along with legislation against ‘blacklisting’

With the opinion polls so close at the moment, it is very unclear as to what changes will be made to Employment Law after the election. However, it is clear that changes are coming – with all parties targeting National Minimum Wage and zero-hour contracts.

Source: HRZone.com


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