Lib Dem proposed changes to employment law

    Lib Dem proposed changes to employment law

    As we inch closer to the General Election, we don’t want you to think we are favouring the Labour Party! Here’s a look into the Lib Dem Manifesto and the ways in which they could be shaking up your workplace if they take power.

    1.    The Rise of the “Dependent Contractor”

    First up, let me introduce you to the new “dependent contractor” status. No, it’s not a distant cousin of the “worker status” of which you already know and love, but a shiny new category poised to sit comfortably between employees and the self-employed. These dependent contractors will enjoy the benefits of minimum earnings, sick pay and holiday entitlement. I know what you’re thinking… “isn’t this worker-status”? Well, we all love a rebrand, don’t we?

    2.    Zero-hours contracts: a minimum wage boost

    For those on zero-hours contracts - rejoice! (Or at least make a half-hearted attempt at a cheer!). The minimum wage will increase by 20% for those on zero-hours contracts, during times of normal demand. This is to compensate for the uncertainty of fluctuating hours. They will also receive a right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months, not to be unreasonably refused.

    3.    Let’s all share nicely please

    Employees who work in listed companies will be given the right to request shares. That’s right - a right to request! So, you can ask for a slice of the office cake, whether you will actually get some, is another matter…

    4.    Flipping the Burden of Proof

    In Employment Tribunals, the rules will be changing. Instead of employees having to prove employment status, it will be up to the employer to disprove it.

    5.    Sick Pay from Day One

    SSP will start from the first day of sickness, rather than the fourth. There will be no lower earnings limit. SSP will have your back from the get-go.

    6.    Have you gone Name-Blind?

    In a move towards greater equality, the Lib-Dems plan to extend the use of name-blind recruitment processes. The intention is that initial employment applications won’t show your name, which could help combat unconscious bias.

    7.    Parental Leave from Day One

    Parental Leave will also start from day 1. Not only that, Parental Pay will be doubled to £350 per week. The Lib Dems also intend to introduce a “use it or lose it” month for fathers/partners which will be paid at 90% of salary. Will we be hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet in the office?

    8.    New Protected Characteristics

    The Lib Dems intend to expand the Equality Act to include “caring” and “care experience” as protected characteristics. This will require employers to make reasonable adjustments to enable employers with caring responsibilities to provide that care, plus strengthen the rights of people who are in or have been in care. This may be complicated! 

    9.    Data, Diversity and Disclosure

    Larger employers will need to publish data on gender, ethnicity, disability and LGBT+ employment levels, pay gaps and progression. Plus they’ll need to publish five-year aspirational diversity targets.

    10.    Disability Support and Adjustment Passports 

    There’s a plan to introduce specialist disability employment support and to simplify the Access to Work Scheme by creating “Adjustment Passports”. These passports will record the adjustments and equipment a disabled person requires, ensuring their support travels with them from job to job.

    So there you have it, a whistle-stop tour of the potential employment law landscape under a Lib Dem government.

    If you require any help or assistance regards this topic or anything else employment law related, please contact our Employment Law Team 


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