Labour Party's employment law proposals

The Labour Party has published far-reaching proposals for the reform of workplace rights which would move away from the current system of enforcement via the tribunal system to instead having more enforcement via government agencies.

A Ministry for Employment Rights (headed by a minister of Cabinet rank) would ‘bring about the biggest extension of rights for workers that our country has ever seen’. A Workers’ Protection Agency would ensure that all workers receive the rights and protections they are entitled to, have extensive powers to inspect workplaces and bring prosecutions and civil proceedings on behalf of workers.

As regards collective employment rights, the Labour Party proposes:

  • introducing sectoral collective bargaining
  • repealing the whole of the Trade Union Act 2016
  • enabling electronic and workplace ballots
  • giving trade unions the right of entry to workplaces to organise members and to meet and represent their members, and
  • banning anti-union practice and the strengthening of protection of trade union representatives against unfair dismissal

As regards individual employment rights, the Labour Party proposes:

  • creating a single status of ‘worker’ for everyone apart from the genuinely self employed
  • ending the Swedish derogation
  • introducing a civil enforcement system to ensure compliance with gender pay auditing
  • giving all workers the right to ask for flexible working – and placing a duty on employers to accommodate the request
  • introducing a minimum wage of £10 per hour for workers aged over 16,
  • banning unpaid internships, and
  • outlawing zero-hours contracts by requiring all employers to give their workers a contract that accurately reflects their fixed and regular hours