Conversative and Liberal Democrat plans for Employment Law

Conversative and Liberal Democrat plans for Employment Law

Conversative and Liberal Democrat plans for Employment Law

Having looked at the Labour party’s plan for employment law last week, this article looks at the key proposed changes to employment law contained in the Conversative and Liberal Democrat’s manifestos.


Conservative Party

There is very little in the Conservatives manifesto in relation to either new employment law or changes to existing law.

They have said they plan to introduce a law to clarify that for discrimination purposes sex means biological sex. We expect this will have more impact in relation to the provision of services or within education than in the context of employment rights, given it is already unlawful to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

The Conversatives have also said they will move responsibility for issuing fit notes away from GPs and to “specialist work and health professionals”, potentially integrated into the newly introduced WorkWell service which provides employment and health support.


Liberal Democrat Party

Day One

The Liberal Democrats also plan to make parental leave and statutory sick pay day 1 rights, although do not set out any plans to change unfair dismissal rights. Currently parental leave does not arise until after a year’s service and there are three waiting days before statutory sick pay is payable.

Employment status

There is a plan to introduce a new dependent contractor status, which would fall between employment and self-employment with entitlement to minimum earnings levels, sick pay and holiday entitlement. It is unclear how this would be different from the current status of worker, who already have these entitlements.

Increases in pay

The Liberal Democrats plan to double statutory maternity pay and paternity pay, increase statutory sick pay to alight with the national minimum wage, and increase the national minimum wage by 20% for people on zero-hour contracts at times of normal demand to compensate them for the uncertainty of fluctuating hours. Quite how such a move would work in practice remains to be seen.

New or extended rights

The Liberal Democrats say they will introduce protection for discrimination for those “caring” and with “care experience”, as well as a new “use-it-or-lose-it month” for fathers and partners of those with newborn’s, paid at 90% of salary.

They also plan to give employees of companies with more 250 employees the right to request shares in the company. It should be noted that a “right to request” is not the same as a “right to receive”.


It seems that the Conservatives focus will be elsewhere, but if either Labour or the Liberal Democrats win businesses will face a significant number of changes to employment legislation.


Fixed month retainer -Why not have an in-house lawyer for your business for as little as £100 per month?

Get in touch