Dutton Gregory Banner Image
News and Events

General Election Special

View profile for Darren Tibble
  • Posted
  • Author
General Election Special

“I think the voters misunderestimate me.”

George W. Bush

As we approach the UK's imminent General Election, what are the three established parties saying (or not saying) about the future of employment in their manifestos? Whichever party comes into power, it’s employment law is going to change and forewarned is forearmed!

In alphabetical order, without any political agenda and the hope that I demonstrate an impartiality that sees my being called upon to host a televised political debate at some point in the future, let's take a look at what is being proposed.


The Conservative Party

National Living Wage

Maintaining the National Living Wage at two-thirds of median earnings in each year of the next parliament.

Equality Act 2010

Defining "sex" in the Equality Act 2010 as biological sex to ensure single-sex spaces in areas like healthcare and sports.

Tax Cuts

The promise of a 2p cut in National Insurance, reducing it to 6% by April 2027. The self-employed will see the main rate of National Insurance abolished.

Free Childcare

By September 2024, parents of children aged 9 months to 2 years will receive 15 hours of free childcare per week, increasing to 30 hours by September 2025.

Fit-Note Overhaul

A pledge to overhaul the current fit note regime, so that fit notes will shift from GPs to specialist work and health professionals.


The Labour Party

Basic Day One Rights

Eliminating qualifying periods for basic rights such as unfair dismissal, sick pay, and parental leave, making them available from day one of employment.

Single Worker Status

A consultation on creating a single employment status for all workers, except the genuinely self-employed, to simplify rights and protections.

Zero-Hour Workers

Banning zero-hours contracts in favour of regular working hours based on a twelve-week reference period, with reasonable notice of shift changes and compensation for cancelled shifts.

Fire and Rehire

Ending the practice of workers being dismissed and rehired under less favourable terms, strengthening the code of practice and ensuring restructuring involves dialogue between employers and workers.

Redundancy Rights and TUPE

Determining redundancy consultation based on the number of people affected across a business rather than a single workplace, and strengthening TUPE protections for workers.

Flexible Working and Family Rights

Flexible working to be a day one right, reviewing parental leave, protecting against dismissal when pregnant, supporting carers, and introducing bereavement leave for all workers.

Fair Pay

Initiatives include implementing a genuine living wage, strengthening sick pay, ensuring fair tips, and banning unpaid internships.


The Liberal Democrats

Parental Rights

These include

  • Large employers will be required to publish parental leave and pay policies.
  • All parental pay and leave to be day-one rights, extending to self-employed.
  • Double Statutory Maternity and Shared Parental Pay to £350 a week.
  • Increase paternity leave pay to 90% of earnings and an additional paid month for fathers/partners.

Carers' Rights

Adding 'caring' and 'care experience' as protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, and expanding paid carer's leave.

Gig Workers' Rights

The introduction of a new 'dependent contractor' status, offering basic rights like minimum earnings, sick pay, and holiday entitlement.

Sickness Absence and Pay

Statutory Sick Pay will be extended to workers earning less than £123 a week and it will also be available from the first day of absence.

Other Proposals

  • Establishing flexible working as a day-one right, subject to business needs.
  • Promoting employee ownership by allowing staff in large companies to request shares.
  • Replacing the 'apprenticeship levy' with a 'flexible skills and training levy' and ensuring apprentices are paid at least the National Minimum Wage.
  • Requiring large employers to publish diversity data and set aspirational diversity targets.