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What does the election result mean for employment law?

The short answer is not a lot – for two reasons.  First, the Conservatives were the major party in the coalition so they have already made the main changes to employment law that they had in mind (e.g. introducing tribunal fees and raising the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to two years).  Second, most of our employment law emanates from European Union law so whichever party is in government here has limited scope to make significant changes.

Employment tribunal fees are therefore here to stay but the Conservatives have proposed the following measures:

  • Banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts (which prevent workers working elsewhere even though they are not guaranteed any work under the contract)
  • Making industrial action more difficult
  • Allowing staff to take parental leave up to a child’s 18th birthday
  • Reviewing the Agency Worker Regulations
  • Establishing a rapid resolution scheme
  • Introducing a cap on public sector redundancy payments (of £95,000!)

Of course, the Conservatives have also promised a referendum on our membership of the European Union.  If that happens, and if it results in us leaving the UK, whoever wins the next election will have much greater scope to change UK employment law.

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