Labour’s vision for employment law: key proposals

17th June 2024

Given Labour’s significant lead in the polls ahead of the next General Election, it’s essential that you stay informed about potential changes in employment law.

Labour’s manifesto, “Change” outlines ambitious plans to enhance worker rights and they have committed to introducing an Employment Rights Bill within their first 100 days in office. However, they still plan to consult with businesses and trade unions before enacting any legislation.

Key areas of employment law reform include:

Employment status

  • Having a two-category framework for employment status, meaning that there will be a single status of ‘worker’ encompassing everybody except the genuinely self-employed

Employment rights

  • All workers will be afforded the same rights and protection, including a day one right to unfair dismissal claims (removing the pre-requisite to have two years’ continuous service) although probationary periods will still apply
  • Removing the three-day period before statutory sick pay is payable
  • Introducing a right to “switch off” after leaving work
  • Flexible working will be the default position from day one, unless the employer has good reason to refuse

Family friendly rights

  • Parental leave will be a day one right (removing the current one-year qualifying period)
  • Introducing a new right to unpaid bereavement leave (currently only permitted following the death of a child)

Trade union and industrial action

  • Strengthening trade union rights by repealing the Trade Union Act 2016 and The Strikes Act 2023 (these introduced turnout requirements for industrial action ballots, and increased the notice period that trade unions must give of any industrial action to two weeks)
  • Allowing trade unions to secure electronic and workplace ballots
  • Simplifying the trade union recognition process by:
    • removing the requirement for at least 40% of workers to show they are likely to support recognition to begin the process, and
    • modernising the rules on the final ballot

Zero hours contracts

  • Although Labour previously indicated an outright ban, this plan has now been revised so that zero-hour contracts are allowed to continue provided they are not ‘exploitative’

Fire and rehire

  • Ending the practice by improving information and consultation procedures

Equality at work

  • Requiring large employers to produce ethnicity and disability pay gap reports
  • Requiring large firms to produce menopause action plans
  • Removing the national minimum wage age bands, so that all adults are entitled to the same minimum wage

We will provide an update following the General Election, follow us on Linkedin for more news.

If you require any employment law support or more details on how the proposed changes may impact you and your business, get in touch with Natalie Hami Dindar at


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