ballot box at EU referendum polling station


With the General election only a week away, business, individuals and HR teams alike will be wondering how the next UK Government plans to respond to the changing employment landscape. We’ve pulled together a brief summary of the election’s three front-runners to help you compare policies on all things work-related, from zero-hour contracts to maternity and paternity pay.

Hours & Pay


The Labour party have proposed to ban zero-hours contracts and unpaid internships, and raise minimum wage to the living wage at an expected £10 an hour by 2020.

They also wish to strengthen the law so that those working regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have a right to a regular contract.

Further ambitions include putting an end to the public sector pay cap and roll-out maximum pay ratios through an ‘excessive pay levy’.

Corbyn has also proposed our new bank holidays a year, bringing the total up to 12 days per annum.


The Conservative party plan to increase the National Living Wage (minimum wage) to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings.

They also require listed companies to publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay and plan to introduce legislation to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have promised to pay a living wage in all central government departments and review how to set this wage across all sectors.

They also require larger employers to publish the number of people paid less than the living wage and the ratio between top and median pay, following suit of the gender pay gap legislation introduced in April.

Similarly to Labour, they also wish to stamp out abuse of zero-hours contracts and create a formal right to request a fixed contract at work.

Maternity, paternity and family


Labour wish to double paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay. They also wish to strengthen protection for women on maternity leave.

They are also exploring introducing statutory bereavement leave, for time off work after the loss of close family members.


Conservatives have promised the right to child bereavement leave and the new right to care for sick relatives full-time.

They also wish to support companies to take on parents and carers returning to work after long periods of absence.

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have not spoken much on this issue, but have promised to give an additional month’s paid paternity leave to fathers.

Workers rights


Primarily, the Labour party have promised to give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent, so that working conditions are not driven down.

They also wish to repeal the Trade Union Act and introduce “sectoral collective bargaining” through unions, whilst ensuring that all workers have access to the trade union.

Like the other front-running parties, Labour have taken measures to protect illness and disability at work. They have promised to make terminal illness a protected characteristic under the Equality Act to ensure that

Finally, they wish to create new Ministry of Labour to improve workers’ rights across the UK.


Conservatives have promised to ensure people working in the ‘gig’ economy are properly protected after the influx of cases in the media from the likes of Deliveroo, Uber and CitySprint.

They also wish to introduce a new right to request leave for training for all employees to help employees who are seeking to develop skills in their existing jobs.

Furthermore, they have promised to help all workers to stay in secure jobs through a training scheme which employers can fund through the Apprenticeship Levy.

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats, similar to the tories, have promised to modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the ‘gig’ economy.

They have also promised to scrap employment tribunal fees, thereby strengthening the enforcement of employment rights.

Employment support


The Labour party have discussed introducing Reform Universal Credit, ending the six week delay in payment to ensure those in need aren’t left without money.

They also wish to increase Employment Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 for people in the limited capacity for work group and scrap benefit sanctions


The Conservative party have pledged to get one million more disabled people into work over the next ten years.

They have also offered one year holiday on National Insurance Contributions for employers recruiting former wards of the care system, someone with a disability, those with chronic mental health problems, those who have committed a crime, and those who have been unemployed for over a year.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats plan to reverse cuts to Work Allowances in Universal Credit, enabling people to work for longer before their benefits are cut.

We are interested to hear your view on the General Election so please do vote in the poll below. Answers will remain anonymous.

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Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.