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Planned changes to Employment Law under the new Government

8th June, 2015

As the new Government begins to take shape some people are wondering what they have voted for.

The main aim of this new Government is to achieve full employment in Britain and to have the highest employment rate in any major economy. The Government intends to do this by removing red tape and lowering taxes on jobs and enterprise. It also pledges to get young people into work by increasing the number of apprenticeships available by three million over the next five years.

The new Government will eradicate exclusivity clauses in zero hour contacts, which was achieved when section 153 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 came into force on 26 May 2015.

It has agreed to increase the national minimum wage (NMW) to £6.70 from October 2015 with a further increase to £8.00 per hour by 2020. Tax free personal allowance will increase to £12,500 and by 2020 anyone earning the NMW will not have to pay income tax. There will also be a new law to allow the tax free allowance to increase in line with the NMW. There will be an increased entitlement for working parents to claim up to 30 hours free childcare for three and four year old children.

One of the more controversial policies the Government has pledged is that as part of its “jobs for all” policy, they aim to prevent disruptive and undemocratic strike action by ensuring tougher thresholds are in place in key areas such as health, transport, the fire service and education. The Government has stated that there would need to be a turnout of around 40% before a strike could be agreed.
The Government also wants to remove restrictions on using agency workers to cover striking employees and to address the issues around intimidation of non striking workers.

The Government will aim to halve the disability employment gap by transforming policy, practice and public attitudes to get hundreds of thousands of disabled people into employment. They will also aim to promote full gender equality by requiring companies with more than 250 employees to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees.

The Government has pledged to bring in a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with the aim of breaking “the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights” and to make “our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK”.

The Government will help those suffering from long-term yet treatable conditions, such as obesity or addictions, back into work by ensuring they receive the right medical treatment and will provide significant support to those suffering from mental health problems which currently prevent them from working.

Finally the Government has also agreed as part of its vision of “Building the Big Society”, to make volunteering for three days a year a workplace entitlement for people working in large companies and the public sector.

For further information and advice on the proposed Government changes to Employment Law, please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected]

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