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By LegalEdge News

New Labour Government – employment update


  1. The new Labour government are expected to introduce new laws that will significantly change employee rights.
  2. Ensure your framework for employee risk management is up to date now.
  3. You’ll then be ready to adapt to changes as they occur.

What’s happened?

The UK woke up on 5th July 2024 to a Labour government for the first time in 14 years. Considered to be more to the left of the political spectrum than our most recent government, the party has previously set out a number of proposals that, if implemented, would have a significant impact on employment law and management of personnel in the UK. 

It remains to be seen how many of the proposals will survive contact with the real world of government, but we could see the following changes put in motion before the end of the year: 

  • Removing the two-year qualifying period for employees to bring claims of unfair dismissal – so all employees would have access to the full body of employments rights from day one (together with a set of mandatory rules around use of probationary periods).
  • Making flexible working the default position from day one of employment, rather than an employee having to request it.
  • Changes to ban “exploitative” zero-hours/ casual worker contracts.
  • Creating a new body with wide-ranging authority to inspect workplaces and enforce workers’ rights.
  • Extending family-friendly leave, such as rights to paid leave being available from day one of employment and introducing paid carer’s leave.
  • Introducing a legal right to “switch off” from work communications between certain hours.
  • Doubling the length of time employees have to bring claims against employers in the Employment Tribunal.

What does it mean for us?

If implemented as planned, the framework through which your people are currently managed will change significantly. Employment contracts, handbook/ policies, ways of working and methods of personnel-related risk management will all need to be updated accordingly. 

We recommend a “health-check” of your current employment-related risk areas to ensure you’re in good shape to quickly adapt to new changes and consider a full update of your employment-management infrastructure for late-2024/early-2025.

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