General Election 2024: What are the pledges that could effect employment?

Now Available - our 2020 Salary Guide
Monday, July 01, 2024

How Party Pledges Could Shape Employment Law After the 2024 General Election

As the United Kingdom approaches the general election on July 4, 2024, the stakes for changes in employment law are significant. 

Each of the main political parties—Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green, and Reform UK—has outlined distinct proposals that could reshape the workplace landscape. 

This article compares these pledges and discusses their potential impact.

Conservative Party’s Approach to Employment Law

The Conservative Party pledges to maintain the UK’s flexible labour market while making targeted adjustments to employment law and tax regulations. 

Here are the key proposals:

  • Reduction of Employee Contributions: Plans include reducing employee National Insurance contributions to 6% by 2027 and abolishing it for the self-employed by the end of the next Parliament.
  • Apprenticeships: A commitment to creating 100,000 high-quality apprenticeships annually in England by the end of the next Parliament.
  • Equality Act Amendment: Proposing an amendment to clarify that the protected characteristic of sex in the Equality Act 2010 means biological sex.
  • Strikes Legislation: Continuing the implementation of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.
  • Fit-note System Overhaul: Shifting the responsibility for issuing fit notes from GPs to specialist work and health professionals.

Labour Party’s Vision for Workplace Reform Overview

Labour’s manifesto, titled ‘Plan to Make Work Pay’, proposes the most extensive reforms to employment law. 

These are the main ideas:

  • Zero-hour Contracts: A ban on ‘exploitative’ zero-hour contracts, ensuring contracts reflect regularly worked hours.
  • Worker Status: A move to replace the current employment status structure with a single status of ‘worker’, extending all employee rights to this group.
  • Day-one Rights: Expansion of day-one rights to include unfair dismissal, parental leave, and sick pay.
  • Claim Timeframe Extension: Extension of the time limit for bringing most employment claims from three to six months.
  • Single Enforcement Body: Establishing a single enforcement body to enforce employment laws and rights.

Liberal Democrats’ Focus on Expanding Rights Overview

The Liberal Democrats aim to expand rights and protections, particularly for parents and disabled employees. 

These are the Liberal’s key proposals:

  • Parental Leave: Making parental leave and pay a day-one right, including for self-employed parents.
  • Enhanced Pay: Doubling statutory maternity pay and shared parental pay to £350 a week.
  • Paternity Leave: Introducing an additional month of ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ paternity leave for fathers and partners.
  • Employment Status Proof: Shifting the burden of proof regarding employment status in tribunals to employers.

Green Party’s Stance Overview

The Green Party focuses broadly on workers’ rights, fair pay, and environmental protections.

However, specific pledges related to employment law or taxation were not detailed in the manifesto.

Reform UK’s Economic Perspective Overview

Reform UK emphasises reducing taxes and regulations, which may suggest a more business-friendly approach to employment law. 

The implications are that this approach could lead to fewer regulatory burdens for businesses, which Reform UK argues will spur economic growth and job creation.


The forthcoming general election of 2024 promises significant changes to employment law, depending on which party takes power. From the Conservative’s moderate tweaks to Labour’s comprehensive reforms, the proposed policies could considerably affect both employers and employees. 

Understanding these changes is crucial for preparing for the potential new legal landscape in employment law following the election.