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Labour published a plan to deliver a New Deal for workers, 'Labour's Plan to Make Work Pay' on 24 May.   

Labour claims that the plan will "boost wages, make work more secure and support working people to thrive – delivering a genuine living wage, banning exploitative zero-hour contracts, and ending fire and rehire". It promises to "hit the ground running and introduce legislation within 100 days of entering government" and commits to consulting fully with "businesses, workers and civil society" before passing legislation.

In the plan Labour also commits to carrying out a full and detailed consultation on moving toward a single status of worker, and states that it will conduct a review of parental leave within the first year of government.

"Securonomics" – giving working people security in their day-to-day lives

Labour states that it will end "one-sided flexibility". It wants to ensure that all jobs provide "a baseline level of security and predictability", and says that it will ban exploitative zero hours contracts and will ensure that everyone has the right to a contract reflecting the number of hours they regularly work, based on a 12-week reference period (though its plan will not prevent employers from offering fixed-term contracts including seasonal work). It commits to ending "fire and refire", and states that it will reform the law to provide effective remedies against abuse and will implement a "strengthened code of practice". 

The plan will include basic individual rights from day one for all workers. Labour is at pains to stress that this will not prevent fair dismissal, or probationary periods "with fair and transparent rules and processes". It will introduce a single status of worker and transition towards a simpler two-part framework for employment status (which is currently split into three different categories: employee, worker and self-employed) that differentiates between workers and the genuinely self-employed. Labour states that it will consider measures to provide accessible and authoritative information for people on their employment status and attendant rights. It also recognises the contribution of the self-employed and states that it will give them the right to a written contract, as well as extending health and safety and blacklisting protections to them.

There are plans to strengthen redundancy rights, by ensuring that the right to consultation is determined by the number of people impacted across the business rather than in one workplace. Labour also commits to strengthening existing rights and protections for staff impacted by TUPE, as well as strengthening protection for whistleblowers and updating protection for women reporting sexual harassment at work.

Family friendly

In terms of family friendly rights Labour will make flexible working the default from day one for all workers, except where this is not reasonably feasible. The parental leave system will be reviewed and parental leave will become a day one right. Maternity protections will be strengthened so that it will be unlawful to dismiss a woman for six months after her return to work except in specific circumstances. The provision of carer's leave will be reviewed and the benefits of introducing paid carers' leave will be examined. Labour will also introduce the right to bereavement leave for all workers, bring in the "right to switch off" following existing models already in place in Ireland and Belgium and give workers the opportunity to work together with employers on bespoke workplace policies or contractual terms that benefit both parties.

On automation and AI, Labour recognises its potential to drive up productivity and empower workers, but also stresses that it will take action to protect good jobs and safeguard against discrimination. It commits to working with workers, their trade unions, employers and experts to examine what AI and new technologies mean for work, and to promote best practice in safeguarding against the invasion of privacy through surveillance and discrimination.

Fair pay

Labour will ensure that the minimum wage is a real living wage and takes into account the cost of living. The age bands will be removed to ensure that every adult worker benefits and the Single Enforcement body and HMRC will have the necessary powers to ensure the genuine living wage is properly enforced. Labour will work with these bodies to ensure that the National Minimum Wage regulations on travel time in sector with multiple working sites is enforced. It will also strengthen statutory sick pay, removing the lower earnings limit to make it available to all workers and removing the waiting period. Labour will ensure that hospitality workers receive their tips in full, and unpaid internships will be banned, except when they are part of an education or training course.

A commitment is made to fixing adult social care. Labour will introduce a New Deal for Social Care Workers to ensure that these workers have a route to better conditions, training and progression. It will establish a new Fair Pay Agreement (FPA) in the adult social care sector, empowering workers (and the trade unions that represent them) to negotiate fair pay and conditions. Labour states its intention to consult widely on the design of the FPA, learning from economies where they already operate successfully, and will monitor the implementation to ensure that it delivers for workers and employers in the sector. It will also assess to what extent FPAs could benefit from being rolled out to other sectors.

Labour states that it will address recruitment and retention challenges in schools by reinstating the School Support Staff Negotiating Body. This Body will establish a national terms and conditions handbook, training, career progression routes, and fair pay for support staff.

Voice at work

Labour makes it clear that it wants to bring in "a new era of partnership" with employers, unions and government working together. It is "committed to strengthening the rights of working people by empowering workers to organise collectively through trade unions". As a way of doing this it will update trade union legislation and will repeal the Trade Union Act 2016 which introduced longer notice periods for industrial action, higher ballot thresholds for public services and a six-month expiry deadline for ballot mandates, as well as the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.

On the topic of unions Labour also states that it will simplify the process of union recognition and the law around statutory recognition thresholds, as well as ensuring that workers in precarious and gig economy sectors have a right to organise through trade unions. It will introduce a transparent framework and clear rules allowing union officials to meet, represent, recruit and organise members. It will also introduce a new duty on employers to inform all new employees of their right to join a union, and to require this as part of the written statement of particulars that all new workers receive when starting a new job.  Labour will create new rights and protections for trade union representatives and current rules on blacklisting will also be updated.


Labour has ambitious plans on the equality at work front. It will commit to tackling the gender pay gap and put in place measures to ensure that outsourcing of services can no longer be used by employers to avoid paying equal pay, including for work of equal value, to women. It will work with trade unions and others to ensure that workers diagnosed with terminal illnesses are treated with respect and supported at work, and will encourage employers and trade unions to negotiate signing up to the Dying to Work Charter, which promotes best practice. It also commits to enacting the socioeconomic duty under the Equality Act and states that it will apply to public bodies, as well as committing to upholding the Public Sector Equality Duty.

As far as pay reporting is concerned, Labour will require large firms to develop, publish and implement action plans to close their gender pay gaps and ensure that outsourced workers are included in gender pay gap and pay ratio reporting. The publication of ethnicity and disability pay gaps will also be made mandatory for employers with more than 250 staff. Labour will also require employers with more than 250 staff to produce Menopause Action Plans, setting out how they will support employees through the menopause, and promises to publish guidance for employers on measures to consider in relation to the menopause.

Rights at work and enforcement

A single enforcement body for workers' rights will be put in place and will have strong powers to inspect workplaces and act against exploitation, including discriminatory practices against migrant workers. Labour has also committed to bringing employment tribunals up to standard, by working to further digitise them, and will increase the time limit within which employees are able to bring a tribunal claim from three months to six months. This will allow more time for internal procedures to be completed which Labour suggests will potentially decrease the number of claims.

Labour will enable employees to collectively raise grievances to Acas about conduct in their place of work. This will ensure that "bad or illegal" practices won't be able to continue without being properly dealt with as a result of workers being unaware that others have experienced similar issues. Labour has also committed to modernising health and safety guidance, and will work with employers, trade unions and other stakeholders to support the wellbeing of workers and their long term physical and mental health.  

Employers will be required to create and maintain workplaces and working conditions free from harassment, including by third parties. Labour will also strengthen the legal duty for employers to take all reasonable steps to stop sexual harassment before it starts.

Finally, Labour states that it "will learn the lessons from the collapse of Carillion and bring about the biggest wave of insourcing of public services in a generation". It will extend the Freedom of Information Act to apply to private companies that hold contracts to provide public services, exclusively with regard to information relevant to those contracts, to ensure any outsourced contracts are transparent and accountable for delivery. It will also introduce a new National Procurement Plan. Before any service is contracted out, public bodies will have to carry out a quick and proportionate public interest test which will evaluate value for money, impact on service quality and economic and social value goals. Labour will also reinstate and strengthen the last Labour government's two-tier code to end unfair two-tiered workforces.