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UK Election 2024 – Employment Law Reforms 

By June 27, 2024Employment

As the General Election looms closer, the key political parties have released their manifestos on the changes they propose to make to employment law if they are elected to power. 


Labour has pledged to roll out a whole breadth of employment law changes within 100 days of being elected (with a period of consultation) if the party is elected to power. A full analysis of those proposals can be found in the last issue of this newsletter.
We will now consider some of the key proposals of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Reform UK and Green Parties. 


Unsurprisingly, the Conservative Party have proposed few new employment reforms.  
However, notable changes include proposals to: 

  • reduce National Insurance by 2p meaning a reduction in tax payments for employees and workers; 
  • introduce primary legislation to clarify that the protected characteristic of sex in the Equality Act 2010 means biological sex; 
  • maintain the National Living Wage in each year of the next Parliament at two-thirds of median earnings. Current forecasts predict this will allow the National Living Wage to increase to £13 an hour; and 
  • to reintroduce National Service as part of their “plan to give young people the opportunities and skills they need”. 

Notably, there is no mention of allowing the use of agency workers during strike action, which is something that has recently been consulted on. Similarly, the manifesto doesn’t refer to limiting the length of non-complete clauses, despite having previously stated that they would legislate on this when Parliamentary time allowed. 

Liberal Democrats  

The Liberal Democrat Party have pledged to: 

  • create a new ‘dependent contractor’ employment status, between employment and self-employment. This sounds a lot like the current worker status and would come with entitlements to basic rights such as minimum earnings levels, sick pay and holiday entitlement; 
  • giving staff in listed companies with more than 250 employees a right to request shares; 
  • increase minimum wage by 20% for those on zero-hour contracts at times of normal demand to compensate for the uncertainty of these types of contracts; 
  • enhance SSP rights by introducing it from day 1 and removing the lower earnings limit; and 
  • shift the burden of proof on employment status to employers to disprove employment (rather than being on employees to prove) in Employment Tribunals.

Reform UK 

The Reform UK Party has pledged to; 

  • Abolish IR35 rules to support sole traders; and
  • replace the Equalities [sic] Act 2010.  

It has also made a very vague and general promise to ‘’scrap thousands of laws that hold back British business and damage productivity, including employment laws that make it riskier to hire people’’. However, it’s not clear which laws Reform UK are referring to here.

Green Party  

The Green Party have pledged to: 

  • introduce a four-day working week;  
  • introduce a Charter of Worker’s Rights including a legal obligation for all employers to recognise trade unions and creating a right to strike; 
  • increase the National Minimum Wage to £15 per hour and to remove the age bandings; 
  • make employment rights a day 1 right for all workers; and
  • ensure that ‘Gig employers’ which repeatedly breach employment, data protection or tax law will be denied licences to operate.  

For further guidance about how any of these changes may impact your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at 

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Stevi Hoyle

Author Stevi Hoyle

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