New Government plans substantial HR change | Peninsula UK (2024)

The results are in, and we now know that Sir Keir Starmer will be the UK’s new Prime Minister, following a resounding Labour victory at the polls.

But what does this mean for employment law?

Kate Palmer, Employment Services Director at Peninsula, says, “While most employers will be glad to get back to business as usual now we know which party will form the new government, Labour campaigned on a ‘Plan to make work pay’ so employers should be prepared for significant changes to employment law as they look to strengthen employee rights. With more than 60 proposed changes in their manifesto and a pledge to bring in the majority of these changes within 100 days of taking office, now is not the time to relax. We can expect to see a significant rise in the number of employment tribunal claims being brought once these changes come into law, so it’s more important than ever for businesses to ensure they are across all potential changes, updating policies and contracts as needed to ensure they remain fully compliant.

Here are the areas we can expect to see change.

• Day one rights – The qualifying periods for basic rights such as unfair dismissal, sick pay and parental leave will be removed, meaning they become day one rights. There will still be some flexibility for employers to dismiss employees using probationary periods, but this is a huge change that could lead to significant tribunal claims.

• Single status of ‘worker’ - The distinction between employees and workers will be removed, meaning all staff will get the same basic rights and protections.

• Strengthening existing rights - Existing rights and protections, including those for pregnant workers, whistle-blowers, workers made redundant, and workers subject to TUPE processes and those making grievances will be strengthened. Labour has also pledged to reinstate the School Support Staff Negotiating Body.

• Increased wages – Continuing their commitment to raise National Living Wage, they will ask the Low Pay Commission to take cost of living into account when recommending minimum wage rates. Certain unpaid internships will be banned, ‘sleep over’ hours in sectors like social care will be paid as well as enforcing the law on pay for travel time in sectors with multiple working sites.

What changes will the new Labour government make to employment law?

Get instant, expert answers to your HR questions...

Ask Brainbox

Speak to an expert 24/7

• Sick pay – Rules around Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be strengthened, making it available to all workers without the current waiting period. The rate payable will be increased to represent a ‘fair earnings replacement’.

• Pay gaps – Firms with more than 250 employees will be required to report their ethnicity and disability pay gaps.

• Harassment – Employers will be required to create and maintain workplaces and working conditions free from harassment, including harassment by third parties. Employers will be under a duty to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment.

• Flexible working – Flexible working will become the default from day one for all workers, except where it is not reasonably feasible.

• Family friendly policies – Making parental leave a day one right is just one of the family friendly policies planned by Labour. We can expect a new right to bereavement leave and it will also become unlawful to dismiss pregnant employees for six months after their return from maternity leave, except under specific circ*mstances.

• Right to disconnect – Labour will "Bring in the right to 'switch off' so working from home doesn't become homes turning into 24/7 offices."

• Caring responsibilities – A new right to Carer’s Leave came into law on April 6 this year. It is currently unpaid; Labour has said they will examine the implementation of Carer’s Leave and the benefits of making it paid leave.

• Zero-hours contracts –It doesn’t appear that Labour will do away with the practice of zero-hours entirely, but they have promised to ban ‘one-side flexibility. This means that anyone working regular hours for 12 weeks or more will gain the right to a regular contract reflecting the hours they work. All workers will get reasonable notice of any change in shifts or working time, and recompense for cancelled shifts.

• Fire and rehire – Labour pledged to improve information and consultation procedures by replacing the statutory code of practice with a stronger one and adapt unfair dismissal and redundancy legislation to prevent workers being dismissed for not agreeing to a worse contract.

• Trade union laws – The trade union’s right of entry to workplaces will be strengthened along with the protections for trade union representatives. The process of union recognition will be simplified along with a new duty on employers to inform the workforce of their right to join a union in their written contract.

• Enforcement rights - The time limit for bringing Employment Tribunal claims will be extended to six months which, combined with the new day one right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal, could result in more tribunal claims.

Tips – The law on distribution of tips will be strengthened to ensure that hospitality workers receive their tips in full and workers decide how tips are allocated.

• Menopause – Large employers with more than 250 employees will be required to produce Menopause Action Plans. There will be guidance, including for smaller employers, on the type of measures that should be considered as part of this plan.

• Wellbeing – Employers will be required to support the wellbeing of workers and their long term physical and mental health, raise awareness of neurodiversity, assess whether existing regulations and guidance is adequate to support and protect those experiencing the symptoms of long Covid. Businesses will need to be aware of any new guidance and implement this in their workplace.

• Artificial intelligence – The new government will work with workers, trade unions, employers, and experts to examine what AI and other new technologies mean for work, jobs, and skills.

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like When will Labour bring in their new employment laws?

  • Business push payment fraud hits £83m
  • Accountant not unfairly dismissed over partner status
  • Roller door accident strangles worker with own hoodie
  • Health and safety industry reacts to Labour win
New Government plans substantial HR change | Peninsula UK (2024)


New Government plans substantial HR change | Peninsula UK? ›

Wellbeing – Employers will be required to support the wellbeing of workers and their long term physical and mental health, raise awareness of neurodiversity, assess whether existing regulations and guidance is adequate to support and protect those experiencing the symptoms of long Covid.

What are the changes to the UK employment law in 2024? ›

A new law creating a right to request more predictable working patterns for eligible workers. This is expected to come into force from around September 2024. A new law requiring employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of their employees. This will come into force from October 2024.

What HR policies are required by law in the UK? ›

There are only three that British law requires. Health & safety policy (if you have more than five employees). Disciplinary and dismissal policies. Grievance policy.

How is employment law enforced in the UK? ›

In the UK, most employment law is categorised as 'civil law' or 'private law', meaning that it's enforced as a result of one party (the claimant) suing another (the respondent) either for compensation or some other remedy in a civil court.

What are the three sources of employment law in the UK? ›

There are 3 main sources of Employment Law in England & Wales; the Common Law, Statute and European Law (European Directive and decisions of the European Court of Justice).

What is the new work rule in the UK? ›

New UK immigration rules are being introduced throughout 2024, including an increase in the salary requirement for skilled worker visa to £38,700 per year on 4 April 2024 and spouse visa to £29,000 on 11 April 2024, restrictions on healthcare and care worker visa holders as well as international student visa holders ...

Why is employment structure in the UK changing? ›

Reasons for the changing economic structure of the UK

Many of the reasons are because of globalisation, deindustrialisation and government policies. Globalisation is the process which has created a more connected world, with increases in the movements of goods (trade) and people (migration & tourism) worldwide.

Is it illegal to not have a HR department UK? ›

HR is not a legal requirement in the UK, but complying with employment laws and regulations is mandatory for all employers, regardless of whether they have a formal HR department or not.

What is HR compliance UK? ›

HR compliance is essentially a commitment by a business to follow the working standards set out by employment laws in a respective city, state or country.

Should HR be impartial UK? ›

Advice for employers

Dismissing or investigating officers can seek guidance or advice from HR. However, this advice must be strictly limited to law and procedure. The role of HR must remain impartial; they must not advise or comment on the culpability of the employee.

What is the difference between the US and the UK employment law? ›

In contrast to the US, employees are not employed “at will” in the UK. Employees have two sets of rights: contractual and statutory. Contractual rights are mainly contained within written contracts. UK law requires that employees receive a written statement of terms within 2 months of starting work.

Can my employer force me to work in the office UK? ›

If your contract of employment says that your place of work is your employer's office, then your home isn't your place of work under your contract. So, your employer can call you back to the office at any time, because it's your place of work.

What rights do employees have in the workplace UK? ›

Employment rights

protection against unlawful deductions from wages. the statutory minimum level of paid holiday. the statutory minimum length of rest breaks. to work no more than 48 hours on average per week or to opt out of this right if they choose.

What are the key employment legislation in the UK? ›

Part 10 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides employees with the right not to be unfairly dismissed. In most cases the employee must have two years' continuous service with their employer to qualify to bring a claim.

What is the British contract of employment Act? ›

The Contracts of Employment Act 1963 (c. 49) was an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which introduced the requirement to give reasonable notice before dismissal (now Employment Rights Act 1996 section 86) and written particulars of a contract of employment (now Employment Rights Act 1996 section 1).

What is the 2 year UK employment law? ›

Workers have the right: not to be unfairly dismissed after 2 years' service - for employees who were in employment before 6 April 2012, it's 1 year's service. to a written statement of reasons for not renewing the contract - after 1 year's service.

What is happening to employment levels in the UK? ›

The UK employment rate (75.0%) remains below estimates a year ago (October to December 2022), but has increased in the latest quarter. The UK unemployment rate (3.8%) decreased in the latest quarter, returning to the rate a year ago (October to December 2022).

What is the latest employment Act UK? ›

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 brought in the following changes to the law on flexible working, where the request was made on or after 6 April 2024 : Introduced the requirement to consult on alternatives before refusing a request.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Corie Satterfield

Last Updated:

Views: 5549

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Corie Satterfield

Birthday: 1992-08-19

Address: 850 Benjamin Bridge, Dickinsonchester, CO 68572-0542

Phone: +26813599986666

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Table tennis, Soapmaking, Flower arranging, amateur radio, Rock climbing, scrapbook, Horseback riding

Introduction: My name is Corie Satterfield, I am a fancy, perfect, spotless, quaint, fantastic, funny, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.