Our low-down on selected policies of the three main political parties.


  • Zero-hours contracts: make exclusivity unenforceable.
  • Minimum wage: increase to £8 per hour by 2020; increase income tax threshold.
  • Parental rights: increase free childcare entitlement to 30 hours per week.
  • Equal rights: require employers of more than 250 people to publish equal pay data.
  • Apprenticeships: create and extra 3 million apprenticeships over the next parliament.
  • Migrant workers: take steps to eradicate exploitation.
  • Human rights: replace Human Rights Act with new Bill of Rights, breaking the link with the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Trade unions: require a minimum turnout of 40% in strike ballots; introduce a time limit between ballot and strike action; remove ban on agency workers covering for striking workers.
  • Volunteering: introduce free volunteering right of 3 days for employees of large companies and in the public sector.


  • Zero-hours contracts: those working more than 12 weeks on a zero-hours contract to be entitled to a ‘regular’ contract; outlaw employers being able to force availability and change shifts at short notice.
  • Minimum wage: increase to £8 per hour by October 2019; give local authorities a role in enforcement; increase maximum penalty to £50,000.
  • Parental rights: increase paternity leave from 2 to 4 weeks, and increase a week’s paternity pay to £260; increase free childcare from 15 to 25 hours per week.
  • Employment Tribunals: abolish existing tribunal fee system
  • Equal rights: require employers of more than 250 people to publish equal pay data; provide equal rights for self-employed people; reinstate liability for third party harassment.
  • Apprenticeships: require major government contract holders, those recruiting from outside the EU, and certain government departments to offer them; guarantee apprenticeships to 18 year olds with the right grades.
  • Migrant workers: ensure migrant workers’ jobs and conditions are on a par with local employees.
  • Human rights: preserve the Human Rights Act but look to reform the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Young people: guarantee jobs for young people unemployed for over a year (or for 2 years if over 25).
  • Armed forces: introduce anti-discrimination legislation to protect members of the armed forces.
  • Employee shareholders: scrap existing legislation; consider implementing a right to a profit share where there are more than 50 employees.
  • Pay transparency: require companies with remuneration committees to include elected employee representatives and publish top pay and pay ratios.
  • Agency workers: remove ‘Swedish derogation’ exception to Agency Workers Regulations; ban agencies from exclusively recruiting from overseas.

Liberal Democrats

  • Zero-hours contracts: create a right to request a fixed term contract.
  • Minimum wage: ask Low Pay Commission to consider ways of increasing minimum wage; raise income tax threshold; tackle employers calling employees ‘self-employed’ to avoid the minimum wage.
  • Parental rights: additional 1 month paternity leave; shared parental leave rights from day 1; increase availability of free childcare of 15 hours per week.
  • Employment Tribunals: review tribunal fee system.
  • Apprenticeships: double the number of businesses offering apprenticeships.
  • Equal rights: implement remaining provisions of Equality Act; require employers of more than 250 employees to publish equal pay data; outlaw caste discrimination.
  • Human rights: introduce a new Freedoms Act, embedding rights to freedom of speech and protest.
  • Trade unions: introduce e-balloting.

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