General Elections 2024: What Does Labour Party’s Victory Mean for Employment Law?

As general elections go, the Labour Party’s victory in 2024 marks one of the most historic to date. With several records broken, newly elected Prime Minister Keir Starmer managed to turn Labour’s 2019 loss around. This resulted in a landslide win for his Party. Below, we unpick exactly what happened and explore what this result could mean for employment law.

If, after reading this article, you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Redmans Solicitors. As specialists in the employment law sector, we can answer your queries and provide expert advice. To begin:

Historic Labour Landslide: Starmer’s Triumph Ends 14-Year Tory Rule

The Labour Party’s victory in the 2024 general election was nothing short of historic. With 412 seats, Keir Starmer led the Party to one of its most significant triumphs. In the process, he inflicted a major defeat on the Conservatives, who secured their lowest number of seats (121) since 1832.

With Labour’s landslide win, they put an end to the 14-year Tory rule. Yet, their victory wasn’t the only historic moment from the election. With 72 seats, the Liberal Democrats recorded their best performance since 1923. 

Furthermore, this election saw the largest disparity ever between the percentage of votes and the share of Parliamentary seats gained. While the Green Party and Reform UK secured 7% and 14% of the votes, respectively, they both obtained only 1% of the seats. In contrast, the Liberal Democrats received 12% of the votes and captured 11% of the seats. This sparked fresh calls for a reformed electoral system.

After the results confirmed the Tories’ loss, former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was gracious in defeat. On Keir Starmer, he said, “In this job, his successes will be all of our successes, and I wish him and his family well. Whatever our disagreements in this campaign, he is a decent, public-spirited man who I respect”.

Sunak also acknowledged the public’s clear demand for change reflected in the Labour Party’s victory, taking full responsibility for their anger and disappointment. He concluded, “We must hold true to that idea of who we are. That vision of kindness, decency and tolerance that has always been the British way”.

Labour Party’s Victory – What does this mean for Employment Law?

As Keir Starmer delivered his first speech in office, he began by recognising his predecessor’s achievements, particularly becoming the first British Asian Prime Minister. However, he quickly turned to the present, emphasising the country’s decisive vote for change.

The new Prime Minister spoke of “national renewal”, stressing the importance of prioritising the country’s needs over political interests and committing to immediate action on his plans. But what do these plans entail, particularly regarding employment law?

With the Labour Party’s victory, significant changes are expected to reshape the employment law landscape. Key proposals include:

  • Unfair Dismissal Protection: Extending protection from unfair dismissal, currently requiring two years of service, to apply from day one.
  • Flexible Working: Making flexible working the default from day one unless it is not reasonably achievable.

Additional rights Labour aims to implement include:

  • Right to Disconnect: Preventing employers from contacting their workforce outside of contracted hours.
  • Enhanced Bereavement Leave: Extending the right to bereavement leave to include the loss of family members beyond just children.
  • Menopause Action Plans: Requiring companies with more than 250 employees to support individuals experiencing menopause by implementing specific support measures.

Elsewhere, the Party wants to put an end to “exploitative” zero-hour contracts and fire-and-rehire practices. They claim they want to provide workers with more security and state that they will improve the National Minimum Wage. To achieve this, they will introduce a ‘real living wage’ that reflects the cost of living and eliminate age brackets to ensure fair pay for all workers.

Employment Tribunal Claims

Should an individual’s rights be breached and they wish to bring an employment tribunal claim, Labour plans to extend the time limit for filing such claims from three to six months. While some believe this extension may result in a sharp increase in claims, others think it could give individuals more time to resolve matters outside of court.

Given these forthcoming changes, employers and employees must stay informed about their implications. Employers must ensure compliance with new legal obligations, while employees should understand their rights and recognise when they have been breached.

We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the Labour Party’s victory and the potential changes in employment law. If you have any questions or believe your rights have been breached, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Redmans Solicitors are employment law specialists, and after a quick chat, we can answer your questions and advise you on your possible next steps.

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