New UK Government – things to watch for in UK employment law

With the Conservative Party winning the recent UK election some employment law changes can be anticipated.

Changes already implemented

Zero hours contracts can no longer be exclusive. Employees must be free to take on other work.

Changes announced in the government programme

Strikes: proposals have been announced to make changes to strike rules. Currently, to hold a legal strike a simple majority in favour is needed of those voting. If passed into law, the new rules will require that 50% of those eligible to vote must have voted. In addition, in frontline public sectors (education, fire, health and transports) 40% of those eligible to vote must have voted in favour of the strike.
EU membership: the UK will hold a referendum before the end of 2017 on its continued membership of the EU. Before the referendum there will a UK lead negotiation on reforms to the EU. These reforms may have implications for UK and other EU employment law although this is uncertain. If the UK votes to leave the EU – reforms to UK labour law can be expected.

Changes anticipated

Minimum wage: the Conservative have indicated that this will rise to £8 per hour by 2020.