02 May 2017
The Institute of Employment Rights welcomes the Labour Party’s 20-point plan to strengthen workers’ rights, which was published over the weekend.
The plan includes some of the key proposals we made last year in our Manifesto for Labour Law – 25 recommendations for reform backed by the UK’s major trade unions – including a universal employment status to provide all people in jobs with access to the full suite of rights from Day One; sectoral collective bargaining; the repeal of the Trade Union Act; guaranteeing trade unions with a right to access workplaces; allowing workers to be represented by a trade union representative; and the abolition of employment tribunal fees.
Labour also vowed to make other changes including adding four more Bank Holidays to the year; banning zero-hours contracts; ensuring that migrant workers do not get poorer pay and conditions; raising the minimum wage; improving paternity packages; strengthening TUPE arrangements; banning unpaid internships; removing the public sector pay cap; rolling out pay ratios; holding an inquiry into blacklisting; and strengthening equality and discrimination protections.
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “These policies will be the cornerstone of the next Labour government’s programme to bring an end to the rigged economy that many experience in workplaces across Britain.
“The scandal of six million people earning less than the living wage, and four million children growing up in poverty are not inevitable. It only takes a change of government to bring these outrages to an end.
“The measures we are planning will make that possible, update our country for the 21st century and prepare us for the economic challenges ahead.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “Labour’s 20 point plan on employment rights seeks not only to extend the rights of workers but enforce them too. For too long people have fallen through the gaps in the law or suffered because the law is simply inadequate, we intend to stop this. This election offers a clear choice: do you want a labour market run for the many or the few.”
The Institute of Employment Rights wholeheartedly welcomes the new proposals. In time, we would like to see the introduction of an independent Labour Inspectorate to help in monitoring and enforcing those rights. Currently, for those in non-union workplaces, the only check on whether or not employers are adhering to employment law is workers contesting their rights at tribunal. We argue that instead of asking workers to police their own rights, an independent body should inspect workplaces to ensure bosses are abiding by the law.