So the Conservatives have won the majority and David Cameron retains the top spot for another political term. But what employment law changes can be expected from this rather unexpected Conservative win?
Here are the Conservative Government’s key proposals:
- To require employers with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap information. This is to be introduced by March 2016.
- To increase the National Minimum Wage above the inflation rate. This is on course to increase to over £8.00 per hour by 2020. They also support the Living Wage and will encourage businesses who can afford it to pay it.
- To introduce an entitlement to three days paid volunteering leave per year for employees working for large employers or in the public sector.
- To support greater female representation within boards of directors.
- To give 30 hours of free childcare for working parents with children aged between three and four years old.
- To allow small businesses to have less ‘red tape’ and lower taxes to promote business growth and competition.
- To remove National Insurance contributions for apprentices of up to 25 years of age.
- To require a turnout of at least 50% of union membership and support from a minimum of 40% of those entitled to vote in strike ballots in respect of the industrial action for core public services.
- To remove the provisions which prevent employers from recruiting agency workers to cover employees whilst they are on strike.
- To keep Employment Tribunal fees in place for now. Although, watch this space as UNISON has been given permission to appeal the court’s most recent decision on Tribunal fees, so this issue still remains uncertain.
- To keep zero hours contracts, but ban exclusivity clauses.
What does this mean for employers?
Nothing significant really. Employers are likely to experience fewer changes to employment laws than if a different Government had taken the majority.
What employers will need to do is quickly embrace any changes to promote increased transparency in respect of equality of pay and zero hours contracts, in addition to budgeting for NMW increases.
For now, the European Courts will continue to significantly influence the decisions of our own Courts and Tribunals. Albeit, the most significant change under the new Tory government could be the proposed EU referendum which is due to take place by the end of 2017.
If you are concerned or still feel unsure about these proposed changes to employment law then please feel free to contact our Employment and HR team.