General Election 2015: Employment Law Plans In The Major Party Manifestos

General Election 2015:

Employment Law Plans In The Major Party Manifestos

No matter what the outcome of next week’s General Election, the affect on employment law could be massive.

It’s vital for all UK workers to understand the agendas on display, and as such we have explored each major party’s manifesto and detailed the key points relating to areas of employment law.

These policies will affect your life more than you realise.

The Conservative Manifesto

The Tory Party has expressed a desire to prevent exclusivity clauses from being attached to Zero-Hour contracts, and they intend to increase the minimum wage to £7 an hour in the near future, with the goal of increasing the sum to at least £8 by the year 2020.

The Tories also controversially plan to restrict the employee right to strike by allowing for strike action only in circumstances where at least half of the employees available to participate agree to backing such a course of action.

The Conservatives also intend to abolish employers’ right to hire agency staff to cover absent employees during striking periods.

An interesting point of the Conservative agenda is the plan to force employers with more than 250 staff to reveal the difference in pay rates between male and female employees.

In regards to international law, the conservatives plan to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998, and establish a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, which will make judgements made by the European Court of Human Rights of advisory influence only, and therefore unable to directly affect UK Supreme Court rulings. 

The Labour Manifesto

Like the Tories, Labour states it will increase Minimum Wage to £8 per hour, with October 2019 being their specified deadline. Employers using zero-hours contracts will also face changes, including having to grant workers who have been employed for 12 weeks or more the right to request a fixed hours contract like those held by their full time colleagues.

Exclusivity provision laws will also be abolished, and employers will be obliged to provide workers with compensation should planned working shifts be called off at short notice.

Labour has also promised to remove the fees of the current Employment Tribunal system that calls for claimants to pay the Tribunal costs, regardless of the outcome of their case.

The exact nature of a replacement Tribunal system introduced by Labour is not entirely clear, but the fees involved in making will certainly be reduced.

Labour has also announced that it will fully investigate the ongoing unfair blacklisting of workers within the construction sector; a serious problem affecting the industry.

The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrat goal is to build upon flexible working scenarios. The sharing of paternity leave between parents/guardians is high on the agenda, as are paternity rights, which the Liberals believe should be granted to employees once they take on any form of employment.

Like the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats will enforce a law citing that all employers with at least 250 employees working under them must reveal information regarding the pay differences between their male and female employees.

The Liberal Democrat attitude towards zero-hours contracts is similar to that of Labour, as they plan for workers to have the right to request contracts equal to permanent employees after a certain employment period has passed. Plans to pay a greater wage to 16-17 year olds in full-time employment is also on the agenda.

One intriguing area of Liberal Democrat doctrine is their intention to curtail employers from erroneously naming employees as self-employed when this description isn’t actually relevant to the position held.

The Liberals also want to merge the Working Time Directive Section of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) with the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate and the Gangmaster Licensing Authority to create a proposed alliance known as the “Workers’ Rights Agency”.

UK Independence Party

It won’t come as a surprise to learn that UKIP proposes the most significant changes to UK employment law, namely through Britain leaving the European Union. Such a move would change areas of employment law immeasurably, including cases of unlawful discrimination, employee holiday rights, and all the laws regulated under The Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE).

A major part of the UKIP manifesto is for UK employers to hire British workers ahead of  other nationalities. Equally significant is UKIP’s plan to withdraw Britain from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, and revoke the current Human Rights Act in favour of a new British Bill of Rights.

UKIP also hopes to give agency workers with twelve or more weeks of employment at their job the same benefits as their non-agency colleagues. UKIP also also seeks to regulate rather than ban zero-hours contracts.

The Green Party

The Green Party manifesto includes plans to increase Minimum Wage as high as £10 per hour by 2020, as well as an outright ban on zero-hours contracts, which the party deems exploitive.

The Greens also want to put an end to banker bonuses, reduce pay margins between employees at higher and lower levels of employment, and protect the wages of professionals in the healthcare and education sectors.

Whatever the outcome of the General Election, be sure to consult expert UK employment law solicitors for assistance in any dispute you have, as they will always adapt to any employment law changes that occur. 

Rive Gauche: It must be time for some more UKIPpery….and TANKS….

I am grateful to fellow tweeters  and @nearlylegal  for alerting me to the latest ‘nonsense bulletins’ about the UKippers…

The Huffington Post reports: Ukip Is At War With The BBC Over Camilla Long’s Comments About Nigel Farage In South Thanet

Ukip has “declared war on the BBC” after a journalist made a joke about leader Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You on Tuesday.

When asked about Farage’s chances in South Thanet, Sunday Times columnistCamilla Long said: “I went there more than Nigel Farage. By the time I arrived there he’d only been a few times.”

Party officials issued a complaint to Kent Police after Tuesday’s broadcast, saying the BBC had breached Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act, hampering Farage’s chances of election in the constituency….

The constabulary said they had no intention of following up the claims, prompting the party to threaten further action.

Excellent nonsense.  It is clear to UKIP that our Police have not got enough criminality to deal with…this latter may be a good thing, of course

 

AND…it just gets better…UKIP MEP David Coburn banned from Wikipedia indefinitely

The Guardian reports

It can only be a matter of time before some more UKIPpery arrives for our amusement, delectation and delight?

And here is Monsieur Farage drumming up business on a tank…remarkably…

I can’t possibly be left out of all this tanking stuff..

A piu tarde… I may even find some law to write about when I nip out for a smoke…

DATALAW GAINS APPROVAL TO DELIVER PROFESSIONAL SKILLS COURSE

DATALAW GAINS APPROVAL TO DELIVER PROFESSIONAL SKILLS COURSE

Legal training firm Datalaw has received the green light to deliver the Professional Skills Course to trainee solicitors.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has added Datalaw to its list of accredited providers of the PSC, which is mandatory for all trainees.

The firm will deliver the three core modules – advocacy and communication skills, financial and business skills and client care and professional skills – at centres in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

It will also deliver at least 24 hours of elective courses through a combination of live and online training.

For this aspect of the PSC, trainees will be able to choose from Liverpool-based Datalaw’s range of nearly 400 continuing professional development courses, which cover more than a dozen areas of law.

Managing director Charles Peter said Datalaw’s PSC package would be priced competitively, with an option to pay in instalments. The firm will provide phone and email support to trainees, with a pledge to respond to queries within an hour.

Its website will have a feature that allows participants to track their progress throughout the duration of their PSC.

Datalaw has appointed qualifications manager Suzanne O’Toole to lead the roll-out of its PSC offer, and the firm is to recruit an administrator to assist her.

The PSC, introduced into the profession in 1994, forms a crucial part of the vocational stage of a solicitor’s training.

It must be taken during the first year of a training contract, and before admission to the Roll of Solicitors.

Mr Peter said: “We are delighted to receive approval from the SRA, whose assessor found our course material to be outstanding, thoughtful, focused and well-structured.

“Datalaw aims to provide a PSC that will provide a positive start to a trainee’s continuing professional development.

“It will be flexible, dynamic and will reflect the skills required for a changing and diverse profession.

“With our extensive experience as an accreditation and professional course provider, we look forward to helping trainees build upon their skills and knowledge.”

The SRA’s approval follows Datalaw’s recent accreditation from the Bar Standards Board for its CPD courses for barristers.

Approval to deliver the PSC marks the latest stage of Datalaw’s expansion strategy which follows last year’s six-figure investment from the North West Fund for Venture Capital.

***

Datalaw is fully accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Visit www.datalawonline.co.uk for more information on the company.

A kind voice from my teaching past

I received a comment on the About section of my blog from a former student – one who has done very well in his own country.  I am not prone to posting kind comments from others – but I do so in this instance because I particularly enjoyed teaching at Holborn and BPP Law School…back in the day!

Dato’ Dr Siva Ananthan – Hi Mike, I came across your blog as I was searching for your contact number on the internet. As always, your candid and eloquent exposition on all things law is unrivalled. You were the reason for the success that was Holborn College and BPP and many generations of lawyers are beholden to you. You taught us more than law, you taught us to think, challenge the black letter tradition and be all that we could be. You inspired us. Thank you Mike.

 

(The Dato’ is a Malaysian Honour – the equivalent of a Knighthood in the UK.)

Rive Gauche: Lest we forget our Lord Chancellor Grayling….

It is unlikely that we will forget Mr Grayling – a fine comedy end of the pier turn as Lord Chancellor to be sure – but one who has not contributed markedly to our legal system or system of justice?

Here is a selection of recent articles in the Press covering the Lord Chancellor’s ‘antics’…

The Guardian: Chris Grayling’s policy on absconders and open prisons is declared unlawful

The Guardian: Justice ministry under fire for ‘absurd’ plan to end deduction of union dues

The Guardian: Barristers condemn Chris Grayling over steep rise in employment tribunal fees

The Independent: Chris Grayling spends £72,000 of taxpayers’ money to defend ‘unlawful’ prison book ban

The Mail Online: ‘Chris Grayling is a s*** that needs to be flushed’: Ex-Tory MP and leading barrister in astonishing attack on Justice Secretary who he blasts as ‘off his trolley’

***

Grayling relaxing at home in his guest wing?

***

There are more stories about Grayling’s ‘grasp’ of law…but the above is probably enough to be going along with for now.  I marvel…

I thought I ought to balance things up with a bit of UKIPpery nonsense.

More marvelling…

Back on the morrow…ineluctably…

 

Judge cartoons for sale

I have found four rather good cartoons of judges.  I am selling for £25 for all four (+ postage)

Here is one of the pics…of Lord Phillips

The others are Dame Butler Schloss, Lord Irvine and Lord Woolf

I am selling because I am planning my return to Scotland and I have to cut down on my paintings etc etc!

Please DM or email if you would like to buy them. If you are in London – Delighted to deliver to you via The Tube!

Rive Gauche: A few matters which caught my eye back in the day…

I was digging about in my old drawings file and found a few cartoons I did back in the day – so I thought I would ‘revive’ them.  Not a lot of law about at the moment – but I accept that I may not have been looking hard enough to find ‘Law’

And then this…

And..of course….it would be most remiss of me to leave our revered Lord Chancellor out of this collection.

 

I shall now nip out for a fag and see if I can find some ‘Law’ to write about…  I am not optimistic…

Laters…

I will be out looking for signs of a new Labour dawn…

Rive Gauche: Can never have enough UKippery….

One can only marvel…and one does marvel…in fact, I do a lot of marvelling when it comes to the Kippers…

And – from the BBC… Election 2015: UKIP would have welcomed St George

“A third Century UKIP would have welcomed St George into the country because of his dragon-slaying skills, the party’s Patrick O’Flynn has joked.

He rejected the argument that St George’s Day was irrelevant because the saint was from what is now Turkey….”

It is my duty – and a pleasure – to keep an eye on the ‘activities’ of the UKippers… there will be more nonsense…ineluctably 

Back later….or, perhaps, on the morrow.

Rive Gauche…. a bit of this and that potpurri stuff…Royals in sun glasses…

And other things kept me busy in those days…

And then this…. I’ll be back later….inevitably…

I am still of this earth…but this grave stone seems appropriate.  I shall discuss the matter with one of those will drafting solicitors…

A fine headstone... back later if I can find some law to write about… this being a law blog et al…

Did not manage to find any law while I was ite and abite smoking...but I have had time to make a smoking banana with a beret in modelling clay… the pleasures of having a bit of time on my hands as I wait for BBC Question time et al.

Back on the morrow.  I feel confident that there will be some law to report on…

 

 

 

RollonFriday reports: Exclusive: Fieldfisher partner accused of threatening to destroy trainees’ careers after witnessing fight

RollonFriday Exclusive:  Fieldfisher partner accused of threatening to destroy trainees’ careers after witnessing fight

“A Fieldfisher partner has been accused of telling two trainees that they would be fired and their careers ruined unless they gave testimony in favour of the firm after saying that they had witnessed an altercation between a secretary and the office’s managing partner.

The explosive allegation is made in a claim for unfair dismissal being brought against the firm by a secretary in Fieldfisher’s Paris office. She has also accused Bruno Paccioni, the Paris office’s managing partner, of assaulting her.
RollOnFriday can reveal that the secretary alleges the contretemps took place when she bumped into Paccioni on his way to the toilet. She accuses Paccioni of repeatedly pushing the door to the mens’ loos against her when she asked him to pay her for overtime, hitting her with it in the process. She also claims that when Paccioni couldn’t shut the door because she was in the way, he asked her whether she wanted to come in with him and if she wanted to “hold it” for him.”

Full story from RoF…

Ah well…these things happen…but they should not happen…

Rive Gauche: Grant Shapps-Greenery MP daily nonsense….

It would be remiss of me not to alert you to the latest Grant Shappery nonsense…

Daily Mail story

The Guardian reports: Grant Shapps accused of editing Wikipedia pages of Tory rivals

“Online encyclopedia administrators block user account believed to be run by Tory party co-chairman or ‘someone else … under his clear direction’..”

And here is Mr Shapps-Greenery…waving goodbye?