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How Labour plans to shake up employment law

Change is coming, but what change remains unseen.

Labour has pledged to “change Britain” with their main goal being bringing back stability. It remains to be seen, however, whether their plan to introduce a ‘single worker status’ will lead to ‘stability’ in the contracting landscape.

It is also not certain whether this policy will even become reality during their term in power. It seems like a drastic overhaul of the current rules, which would require a great deal of consultation and effort from the government. With the current state of the country, it may stretch the government too thinly.

And an overhaul may not fit with Labour’s promise to keep legislative changes to a minimum and avoid ‘chopping and changing’ – a clear dig at the Conservative government’s Chapter 10 ITEPA 2003 repeal fiasco in 2022. As the “party for the self-employed” it is hard to see how single worker status would support those who enjoy the freedoms of self-employment. 

Labour’s ‘day one rights’ policy for all workers relating to basic rights such as sick pay, parental leave and unfair dismissal, aims to ensure individuals don’t miss out on employment rights. This may well lead to more costs for the employer (all employment rights rest with the employer). This could result in more stringent hiring processes because companies will be wary about who they recruit. Therefore, it may have an adverse effect on workers in the long term.

Currently, it is unclear what the plans are in terms of umbrella companies and IR35. These areas may well come under fire in the coming weeks and months, though we cannot yet be sure what Labour’s intentions are.

For more information on with Markel Contractor Solutions.