It has been one of the most interesting elections and Conservatives are back in power. With new government appointments, it will be interesting to see what unfolds in the employment law arena.
Sajid Javid is the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Michael Gove is the Secretary of State for Justice and Priti Patel is the Employment Minister.
The Conservatives have announced some policies which relate to employment law
- Strikes – Sajid Javid, has announced that the Government will reform the current law around strikes, although further detail is expected in the Queen’s speech on 27 March 2015.
- Employment tribunal fees- the manifesto mentions nothing about employment tribunal fees therefore it is unlikely that the Conservatives will change the fee system in the near future.
- National Minimum Wage (NMW) – the Conservatives are likely to accept the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission to increase the NMW rate to £6.70 per hour by October 2015, with a view to increasing it to over £8.00 by 2020.
- Childcare – for working parents, there will be an increase in the entitlement to free childcare to 30 hours for all three to four year olds.
- Apprenticeship – to create an extra three million apprenticeships over the next 5 years.
- Equality- aim to reduce the disability employment gap by 50%, by altering policy, practice and public attitudes.
- Working Practices – to take action to eliminate the exploitation of migrant workers and deal with illegal working.
- Fitness for work – to assist those suffering from long term, treatable conditions back in to work. They aim to help them obtain the correct medical treatment. However, if medical recommendations are not followed, the individual’s benefits may be reduced.
Some of these changes will be welcomed by employees and employers. However, more details will be provided in the Queen’s speech on 27th May 2015.