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What does the Election Mayhem mean for Employment Law in the UK?

What does the Election Mayhem mean for Employment Law in the UK?

Well who expected that result? What does the Conservative Party’s potential tie up with the Democratic Ulster Unionist Party (DUP) mean for the future of employment law?

The DUP are natural partners of the Conservative Party as they share similar conservative ideals. On employment law, the DUP offered little in the way of clear manifesto pledges beyond a commitment to increase the minimum wage. However, differences in manifesto promises on pensions, universal benefits and corporation tax suggest that any cooperation between the parties would not be without tensions.

Below we set out the key employment law changes proposed in the Conservative manifesto. However, given the result, a Conservative minority government is likely to face considerable difficulty in implementing its manifesto so it is difficult to predict what (if anything) will make it through.

A critical point to take away from this result is that the consequences for Brexit are significant, particularly given that negotiations are due to begin within weeks. This election was intended to give the Conservative Party a decisive mandate for their negotiating stance – in failing to achieve this, uncertainty will only increase. Already there is speculation that the remaining in the Customs Union and membership of the Single Market, which had been entirely ruled out by the Conservative Party, are potentially back on the table.

Key employment law points from the Conservative Party Manifesto which might become law:

  • Proposals to protect against discrimination faced by those with mental health conditions that are “episodic and fluctuating”.
  • Measures to improve employee representation on boards requiring listed companies either to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal employee advisory council, or to assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director.
  • Efforts to limit executive pay.
  • Measures to address the gender pay gap and the race pay gap.
  • Proposals to increase the minimum wage to 60% of the median earnings by 2020.
  • Implementing the outcome of the Taylor Review into the “gig” economy.

Tribunal fees may be a controversial topic as the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party wanted to get rid of/reduce them while the Conservatives are committed to maintaining them. There will probably not be any change any time soon, but if we have to have another election in a few months’ time then all bets on this issue will be off and Brenda from Bristol will again cry “What, another one?”

None of the above may happen, but it is a fair bet that the government will try to push some of this through.