How will the General Election Affect Recruitment and Employment?

7th June 2017
Geoff Collings

In the midst of all of the current political uncertainty, one thing’s for sure: on Thursday the 8th June 2017, as a nation, we will be going to the polls. There’s a lot of speculation as to what the outcome of the general election will do to recruitment and employment. We’ve been looking at the various policies being offered up by each of the political parties to see what might happen over the next few weeks and months ahead, depending on the outcome of the election:

Conservative

The Conservative party are planning on helping businesses create two million new jobs, which is good news for job seekers. This will help to achieve ‘full employment’, and businesses could benefit from being able to recruit more members to their teams.

For employees, the Conservatives are pledging an increase in the minimum wage to £8 an hour, as well as supporting the Living Wage. They will also take steps to eradicate the abuse of workers, such as the non-payment of minimum wage. They will continue to force those companies with more than 250 employees to publish the pay gap between their male and female employees, which should encourage companies to build an inclusive workforce.

Labour

The Labour party have also said that they will increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour. They too will promote the living wage by introducing what they are calling ‘Make Work Pay’ contracts. These effectively give tax rebates to businesses that sign up to become living wage employers. This could therefore be beneficial to both businesses and those seeking work.

The use of agency workers to undercut the wages of permanent employees will be made illegal under a Labour government, as loopholes in the current Agency Workers Regulations will be closed. Recruitment agencies will be expected to comply to this.

The right to a regular contract will be introduced, too. If an employee works regular hours, they will be given a contract which measures these hours over the first 12 weeks of employment.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are focussing heavily on employee rights. For example, inspections on employers will be doubled under the Lib Dems with a view to ensuring that all statutory employment legislation is being followed. Similarly, just as the Conservatives will continue to do, companies with more than 250 employees will need to publish their gender pay gap data. They have pledged to clamp down on those companies that are deemed to abuse employees.

Furthermore, more rights will be granted to encourage shared parental leave and carers will be entitled to paid leave. A formal right to request a fixed contract will also be introduced for those workers currently on a zero-hours contract.

Green Party

There’s good news for employees if the Green Party are successful in the election, as they will increase the minimum wage. They have a proposed target for everyone in the UK of a minimum of £10 an hour by 2020. Furthermore, they will look to introduce a maximum pay ratio of 10:1 between the best and worst paid employee within any given organisation.

Zero-hours contracts and unpaid internships that last longer than four weeks will also be abolished should the Green Party gain power. This could make for more formal employment opportunities for those looking for work.

Scottish National Party

The SNP are pledging to increase the Minimum Wage to £8.70 by 2020. They will also ensure that everyone working in the public sector is paid the Living Wage.

Zero-hours contracts will be abolished, and they want reverse recent aspects of worker’s rights which have been changed. For example, the 90 day consultation period for redundancies affecting more than 100 employees within an organisation will be reinstated.

Plaid Cymru

The minimum wage will be set to the same as the living wage under a Plaid Cymru government. They will also look to abolish zero-hours contracts, and there will be a tax relief for the self-employed who are undertaking training.

The Verdict?

The future may seem uncertain at the moment but there are positives in all of the general election manifestos for both employees and organisations. Hopefully the general election will provide us with a more stable basis going forward. This should allow companies to continue to recruit and grow, and for job seekers to find secure work contracts.