Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

HR Changes: What are Labour Promising under the new leadership?

By . July 5, 2024

Following their victory in the general election on July 4th, what does Labour plan to change for employment laws and changes to how we work? On May 24th, the Labour Party released a transformative plan titled "Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering A New Deal for Working People" (New Deal). This initiative aims to overhaul worker rights and conditions in the UK. The party’s manifesto, published on June 13th, underscores their dedication to bringing this New Deal to fruition. Below are the key points within this ‘New Deal’.

Key Proposals of Labour’s New Deal

  1. Unfair Dismissal Qualifying Periods

    - Current Law: Employees generally need two years of continuous service to claim unfair dismissal, with some exceptions like whistleblowing.

    - Proposed Change: Labour plans to remove the two-year qualifying period, making unfair dismissal protection a day-one right. Probationary periods will still be allowed but must be fair and transparent.

  2. Collective Redundancy Consultation Thresholds

    - Current Law: The duty to consult collectively is triggered when an employer proposes to dismiss 20 or more employees at one establishment within 90 days.

    - Proposed Change: Labour would broaden this duty to consider the entire business, not just individual establishments.

  3. Strengthening Collective Rights

    - Repeal the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.

    - Allow electronic balloting.

    - Ensure workers in precarious sectors can organise through trade unions.

    - Simplify the trade union recognition process.

    - Permit union officials to meet, represent, recruit, and organise members with reasonable notice to employers.

    - Employers must notify new and existing employees of their right to join a union.

  4. Restrict Fire and Rehire

    - Current Practice: Employers can dismiss and rehire under different terms.

    - Proposed Change: Labour aims to restrict this practice to situations where restructuring is essential for the business’s viability and must involve proper dialogue and understanding.

  5. Creating a Single Enforcement Body (SEB)

    - The SEB would enforce workers' rights, inspect workplaces, and bring civil proceedings to uphold employment rights. It would include trade union and TUC representation.

  6. Banning Exploitative Zero Hours Contracts

    - Workers on zero-hours contracts would have the right to a contract reflecting actual hours worked over a 12-week reference period.

  7. Protections for Returning Mothers

    - Dismissing a mother within six months of returning from maternity leave would be unlawful, with some exceptions yet to be specified.

  8. Equal Pay in Outsourcing

    - Measures to ensure outsourcing cannot be used to avoid equal pay obligations, including for work of equal value to women.

  9. Introduce a Race Equality Act

    - This would include race-equal pay claims and stronger dual discrimination protections.

  10. Gender Pay Gap Action Plans

    - Large firms must develop, publish, and implement plans to close gender pay gaps. Outsourced workers must be included in these reports.

  11. Ethnicity and Disability Pay Gap Reporting

    - Employers with more than 250 staff members must report on ethnicity and disability pay gaps.

  12. National Minimum Wage and Living Wage

    - Labour plans to make the national minimum wage a real living wage and remove age bands. The Low Pay Commission's remit would be adjusted to consider the cost of living.

  13. Statutory Sick Pay

    - Sick pay would become a day-one right, with the lower earnings limit removed.

  14. Parental Leave

    - Labour proposes reviewing parental leave and making it a day-one right, subject to a review within the first year of government.

  15. Right to Disconnect

    - Following models from Belgium and Ireland, employees would have a right to disconnect from work communications outside of working hours.

  16. Single Status of Worker

    - Labour proposes consulting on moving to a binary classification of employment status: employee and self-employed.

  17. Employment Tribunal Claims

    - A six-month time limit for all employment tribunal claims.

  18. Legislation Within 100 Days

    - Labour commits to legislating on these proposals within 100 days of taking office, while also consulting with businesses, workers, and civil society to refine the implementation.


Labour’s New Deal for Working People represents a significant shift in employment rights, aiming to provide fairer and more secure working conditions across the UK. With plans to legislate within the first 100 days of taking office, the Labour Party is pushing for rapid and meaningful change to protect and empower workers.

Who We Work With