On 13 June 2024 the Labour Party announced their manifesto ahead of the 2024 election. We have summarised some of their key proposals and promises, including the impact we anticipate these will have on UK employment law if the party are elected as the UK's new government.

Implementation of ‘Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering a New Deal for Working People’

The Labour Party propose to implement a plan to "Make Work Pay" which they intend will significantly change employment rights for UK employees. They propose to strengthen employee rights to equal pay and offer more protection from maternity and menopause discrimination and sexual harassment. Whistleblowers will have added protection.

We have already seen extended redundancy protections under The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 (which came into force on 6 April 2024) and the new obligation for employers to protect employees from sexual harassment under The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 (to come into force in October 2024). However, we anticipate, under a Labour government, these areas of law may continue to rapidly evolve.

The manifesto sets out some of the key changes, including:

  • banning exploitative zero hours contracts
  • ending fire and rehire
  • introducing basic rights from day one to parental leave, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and protection from unfair dismissal
  • SSP to be paid from day one of absence, and reform of the apprenticeship levy to create a flexible growth and skills levy.

The party have promised to consult fully with businesses, workers, and civil society on the practicalities of implementing these changes and plan to introduce legislation within 100 days of entering office.

Labour has also pledged the following:

  • flexible working will be a default right, with the only exception being where the employer has a genuine reason to deny it
  • there will be a right to unpaid bereavement leave, which is currently only available following the death of a child
  • employees will have a right to have a contract reflective of the regular hours they work. This will be based on a twelve-week reference period
  • they will introduce a right to "switch off" outside of normal working hours
  • section 1 statements will be required to inform employees of their rights to join a trade union
  • the time limit for bringing a claim to the tribunal will be extended from three months to six months
  • employers with 250+ employees will be required to have a menopause action plan
  • collective redundancy requirements for consultation will be determined by the number of redundancies across the whole organisation instead of the number at each location (e.g. a branch)
  • there will be consultation with regard to moving towards a single status of worker (excluding self-employed individuals)
  • the party intend to also create a Single Enforcement Body to ensure employment rights are upheld.

Trade Union changes

  • changes made under the Trade Union Act 2016 will be reversed, including the information required for ballot papers, the turnout needed for a strike ballot, the limit on strike mandates to six months and the extension of the required notice of industrial action, which was doubled to two weeks
  • the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 will be abolished
  • the need for fully postal ballots for industrial action will be removed
  • they will give unions the right to access workplaces

Rights of disabled people

The Labour Party also intend to introduce a full right to equal pay for disabled people. This will include the introduction of disability pay gap reporting for large employers. Although they have not given much more detail on this, it is anticipated that it will be building on the reporting duties currently in existence.

The party promise to also improve employment support and access to reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

Equality Act and a new Race Equality Act

The Labour Party plan to introduce the socio-economic duty in the Equality Act 2010 following the decision by Theresa May to not implement it in 2010. This part of the legislation requires "specified public bodies, when making strategic decisions such as deciding priorities and setting objectives, to consider how their decisions might help to reduce the inequalities associated with socio-economic disadvantage".

New legislation, to be known as The Race Equality Act, will be introduced with the aim of granting the full right to equal pay for Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority people, and protecting against dual discrimination. Ethnicity pay gap reporting for large employers will also be introduced.

The party also promise to reverse the previous downgrading of the monitoring of antisemitic and Islamophobic hate and also to continue to support the single-sex exceptions in the Equality Act e.g. women-only spaces.

Making the minimum wage a genuine living wage

The Labour Party promises to remove the age bands in determining the minimum wage, so that all adults will be entitled to the same minimum wage. As a result of this, employers will need to review their payroll as it is expected there will be a significant number of pay rises required for employees across the UK.

The remit of the independent Low Pay Commission will also be extended to account for the cost of living.

Establishment of a Fair Pay Agreement in adult social care

Finally, the party promises to set fair pay, terms and conditions, along with training standards in the social care sector. They plan to carry out consultations in relation to the structure of such agreement before implementing it into the sector.


At a glance these proposals may appear overwhelming, however, many of them build on UK employment law rights and protections already in existence. Nevertheless, if Labour are elected as the UK's new government employers will need to keep informed and assess the changes required within their respective organisations to ensure they remain compliant with legislation.

If you would like to discuss these proposals further, or how they may impact your organisation, please contact our specialist employment lawyers. Look out for our other articles on the employment proposals in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Party manifestos.


A special thank you to Kelsey Lyall who helped put this article together.

This article is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice.