What does the future hold for employment law? A pre-election view

30 April 2015

With the 2015 General Election now only one week away, Oliver Tasker, senior solicitor and employment law expert, takes a look at the main political parties' manifestos and the likely employment law implications for businesses and individuals.

With the General Election now only one week away, Oliver Tasker, senior solicitor, takes a look at the employment law implications for businesses and individuals.

“Over the lifetime of the previous Government we have seen heated debates on topics such as zero hours contracts, low pay and tribunal fees and these continue to feature heavily in the manifestos of each political party. All of these areas are highly important to both businesses and individuals, so what does the future hold for employment law and how will this impact the workplace over the next five years?”

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

  • Conservatives – real terms increase in the NMW, rising from its current level of £6.50 per hour to reach £8 per hour by the end of the decade.
  • Labour – increase to £8 per hour by October 2019.
  • Liberal Democrats – no set promise on any increase but they will ask the Low Pay Commission to consider ways of increasing the NMW.

Zero Hours Contracts (ZHC)

  • Conservatives – ban exclusivity clauses preventing employees working for another employer; enhance information and guidance to improve transparency over terms and rights in such contracts.
  • Labour – ban on exploitative ZHC by providing that those who work regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have the right to a regular contract; compensate workers if shifts are cancelled at short notice; stop employers from requiring workers to be available at all hours.
  • Liberal Democrats – ban exclusivity; introduce a right to request a regular hours contract and consult on making regular working patterns contractual after a certain period of time.

Tribunal System and Fees

  • Conservatives – the party introduced the current fee regime and therefore have no plans to change the current system.Labour – abolish the current Employment Tribunal fees system. However, it is not clear whether fees will be abolished completely or whether a new system will be put in place.
  • Labour – abolish the current Employment Tribunal fees system. However, it is not clear whether fees will be abolished completely or whether a new system will be put in place.Liberal Democrats – Review the current tribunal fees with a view to lowering.
  • Liberal Democrats – Review the current tribunal fees with a view to lowering.

Other main headlines

  • Conservatives – the Party's main aim is to achieve full employment in Britain, with the highest employment rate of any major economy. This also includes changing the rules on strike action to restrict strikes taking place and causing disruption.
  • Labour – extension of paternity leave to 4 weeks and an increase in statutory pay.
  • Liberal Democrats – focus on expanding flexible working with the aim for paternity leave and shared parental leave becoming rights from day one of employment. The party will also expand shared parental leave and introduce a “use it or lose it” month to encourage fathers to take time off to care for their young children.


It is anticipated that we will see another hung Parliament and whatever the outcome of next week's General Election ,our specialist employment department will continue to keep you updated on future developments.


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