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Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Manifestos – Key Employment & Immigration Law Pledges

19 May 2017 #Employment #UK Immigration

With the general election fast approaching, we have set out the key employment law points from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos.


This includes pledges to:

  • Increase the National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020
  • Offer more protection for those in the “gig economy” by reviewing the recommendations of the Taylor Report
  • Force listed companies to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal advisory council, or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director. Subject to ‘sensible safeguards’ employees will be able to request information about the future direction of the company
  • Legislate to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies must publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay
  • Review the application of exploitation in the Modern Slavery Act and strengthen criminal sanctions
  • Require companies with more than 250 employees to publish more data re the gender pay gap
  • Maintain workers’ rights conferred on UK citizens as a result of EU Law
  • Tighten the rules against abuse of pension schemes and increase the punishment for those caught mismanaging them

And on immigration

  • Double the Immigration Skills Charge to £2000 a year for companies employing non-EU skilled workers
  • Require students to leave the UK at the end of their studies unless they meet new higher requirements which will allow them to work in the UK
  • Invite recommendations about how the visa system can be better aligned with “a modern industrial strategy”. This could allow more visas for workers in strategically important sectors, including digital technology
  • Control and reduce immigration from within the EU, while still attracting skilled workers


This includes pledges to:

  • Ban zero-hour contracts and unpaid internships. Regular contracts will be given to those working ‘short hours’ for more than 12 weeks
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act and increase rights/roles for trade unions and collective bargaining. Labour also intends to implement a policy that public sector contracts are only awarded to companies which recognise trade unions
  • Raise the Minimum Wage to the Living Wage (expected to be £10 per hour by 2020)
  • Impose a maximum pay ratio of 20:1 in the public sector between highest paid and lowest paid. This will also apply to companies bidding for public sector contracts
  • Abolish employment tribunal fees, although ACAS early conciliation will remain
  • Double paid paternity leave to 4 weeks (and increase paternity pay) and strengthen protection for women against redundancy related to maternity and pregnancy
  • Repeal changes made to TUPE in 2014
  • Abolish loopholes to the Agency Workers Regulations i.e. removal of the ‘Swedish derogation’
  • Introduce four new statutory bank holidays to celebrate our patron saints
  • ‘Clamp down on bogus self-employment’ by creating a presumption that a worker is an employee (unless the employer proves otherwise). Workers will be given the same employment rights as employees from day one and a dedicated commission will be set up to modernise the law around employment status

And on immigration…

  • Provide an immediate guarantee of existing rights for all EU nationals currently living in the UK and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens in EU countries
  • End freedom of movement post Brexit
  • Implement a new immigration system based on economic needs, balancing controls and existing entitlements – this may include sponsorship, work permits, visa regulations or a tailored mix of all of these

L I B E R A L   D E M O C R A T S

This includes pledges to:

  • Modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the “gig economy,” looking to build on the upcoming Taylor Report
  • Give employees on zero-hours contracts a formal right to request a fixed contract and introduce a right to make regular patterns of work contractual after a period of time
  • Ensure protections, such as maternity leave and rights to annual leave, derived from EU law are maintained post-Brexit
  • Scrap employment tribunal fees
  • Promote employee ownership by giving staff in listed companies with more than 250 employees a right to request shares, to be held in trust for the benefit of employees
  • Strengthen worker participation in decision-making, including staff representation on remuneration committees, and the right for employees of a listed company to be represented on the board

And on immigration…

  • Provide a unilateral guarantee of current rights for all EU nationals presently in the UK
  • Press for the UK to unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK, ending their ongoing uncertainty
  • Maintain current freedom of movement of rights post-Brexit for EU citizens to work in the UK and vice versa



Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Louise Keenan

Louise Keenan

T: 0118 960 4614
M: 0779 900 7325


Employment team
+44 (0)118 958 5321