Policy in practice: pre-election 2024 – employment

24 June 2024

In the second episode of our pre-election policy in practice podcasts, David Gauke, Matthew Ramsey and Kirti Tiwari-Mehta discuss potential changes to employment law amidst the current general election campaign.

They cover: 

  • potential employment law reform including Labour's "New Deal for Working People";
  • unfair dismissal protections and worker classifications;
  • ethnicity and disability pay gap reporting; and 
  • the right to switch off proposal.

If you would like more information or want to discuss any of the topics in this podcast, please get in touch with David, Matthew and Kirti.

Episode summary

In the second of our pre-election policy in practice podcast episodes, David Gauke, head of public policy at Macfarlanes, is joined by employment senior counsel Kirti Tiwari-Mehta, and employment senior knowledge lawyer Matthew Ramsey, to discuss potential employment law reforms.

The conversation began with a focus on Labour's "New Deal for Working People," which includes significant changes such as making unfair dismissal protections effective from the first day of employment and simplifying worker classifications from three tiers to two. This change could grant more rights to those currently classified as workers, potentially transforming employer-employee dynamics.

The podcast also highlighted Labour's plan to introduce legislation within the first 100 days of taking office, followed by a consultation period to address practical implementation concerns. Key proposals include mandatory ethnicity and disability pay gap reporting for employers with over 250 employees, which poses challenges in data collection and comparison. Additionally, Labour's proposed "right to switch off" aims to enhance work-life balance by reducing out-of-hours work pressures, inspired by policies in Belgium and Ireland.

Overall, the podcast provides a comprehensive overview of potential Labour employment law reforms and their implications for employers and employees, highlighting the need for detailed consultation and legislative clarity.