While it looks like the current Government aren’t planning any substantial changes to employment rights, as hinted at by David Davis, the Labour leadership challenger, Owen Smith, has made a number of pledges if he were to become leader.
Entitled a “Manifesto for Fairness at Work”, Mr Smith has focused his attention on “giving working people a voice, strengthening collective bargaining, tackling exploitation, and delivering greater equality”. These pledges include:
- Strengthening collective bargaining and ending pay freezes in the public sector;
- Improving collective Trade Union rights by ending the use of sweetheart unions to avoid recognition and modernising balloting with e-balloting to increase participation;
- Increasing equality by introducing new Equal Pay legislation to close the gender pay gap and abolishing Tribunal fees; and
- Improving individual rights for working people by providing employment rights from the first day of employment and abolishing zero hours contracts.
Of course, whether any of these will be implemented will depend on:
- Mr Smith defeating Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming leadership contest to become leader of the Labour party; and
- Labour winning the next general election (whenever that may be).
It is interesting, nonetheless, to see what direction Mr Smith may go in terms of workers’ rights if elected.