In preparation for the upcoming general election, the Labour party have set out a twenty point, pro-worker plan which has been welcomed by union leaders. Whilst appealing to workers, if implemented by a Labour government, the policies could have significant employment law implications.
The plan, which aims to enhance and enforce the rights of workers, includes commitments to:
- double paid paternity leave to four weeks;
- increase paternity pay;
- guarantee temporary and part-time workers the same rights as full-time employees;
- ban unpaid internships;
- introduce maximum pay ratios;
- increase the minimum wage to the living wage of £10 per hour.
Perhaps most importantly, the plan pledges to make zero hour contracts illegal; this policy alone could have an effect on around 900,000 workers.
In his speech, the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell asserted that these polices would form “the cornerstone of the next Labour government’s programme to bring an end to the rigged economy that many experience in workplaces across Britain”. Labour hope that these pro-worker policies will help prevent many of its traditional voter base from moving to vote Conservative at the election in June.
Labour has pledged to ban all zero-hours contracts, put a halt to unpaid internships and end the pay cap on public sector staff in an unashamedly leftwing pitch to British workers. In a move welcomed by union leaders but that will be attacked as “anti-business” and unaffordable by opponents, the 20-point blueprint also includes commitments to double paid paternity leave to four weeks, increase paternity pay and guarantee temporary and part-time workers the same rights as full-time employees.