What might a Labour government mean for employers?

The snap election is just around the corner, so we’ve delved deeper into the party manifestos to understand how the future Government will respond to the changing employment landscape.

Read on to find out more about Labour’s key employment policies, from Business in the Community (BITC).

Hours & Pay

If elected, Labour pledge to ban zero hour contracts, introduce four new bank holidays a year, and raise the minimum wage to living wage, which is expected to be £10 an hour by 2020. In addition, they plan to end the public sector pay gap, rollout maximum pay ratios through an ‘excessive pay levy’ and ban unpaid internships.

Labour also intend to strengthen the law so that those working regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have a right to a regular contract.

Workers’ Rights

Labour plan to create a new ministry of Labour to improve workers’ rights. They also aim to repeal the Trade Union Act and introduce ‘sectoral collective bargaining’ through unions. Labour will stop employers from only recruiting overseas, ensure all workers have access to a trade union, and will make terminal illness a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.

The party plan to give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent, so that working conditions are not driven down.

Maternity, paternity and family

Labour have pledged to double paternity leave to four weeks and will increase paternity. This is in addition to strengthening protection for women on maternity leave. Moreover, they aim to explore the possibility of introducing statutory bereavement leave, for time off work after the loss of close family members.


They plan to maintain the apprenticeship levy, double the number of completed apprenticeships at NVQ level 3 by 2022, and give employers more flexibility in how the levy is deployed, including allowing the levy to be used for pre-apprenticeship programmes.

Labour also intend to guarantee trade union representation in the governance structures of the Institute of Apprenticeships, and protect the £440 million funding for apprenticeships for small and medium-sized employers who don’t pay the levy.

The party will increase apprenticeships for people with disabilities, care leavers and veterans, and ensure broad representation of women, BAME, LGBT and people with disabilities in all kinds of apprenticeships.

Employer support

When it comes to employer support, Labour pledge to reform Universal Credit, ending the six week delay in payment, and will increase Employment Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 for people in the limited capacity for work group. The party also plan to scrap benefit sanctions.