Corbyn v Smith: employment law proposals

2 mins

Posted on 11 Aug 2016

Labour leadership candidates Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith have set out details of reforms they would make to employment law.

Both candidates for the labour leadership would abolish zero hours contracts, provide employment rights from day one, repeal the Trade Union Act 2016 and abolish employment tribunal fees. 

Owen Smith’s other proposals 

Owen Smith has announced 25 workplace pledges including:

Improving equality by:

  • Introducing new equal pay legislation to close the gender pay gap
  • Simplifying enforcement of equality law 
  • Reintroducing discrimination questionnaires 
  • Requiring companies over a certain size to publish race equality plans.  

 Improving individual rights by:

  • Enhancing the definition of a “worker” to outlaw bogus self-employment
  • Outlawing exclusively foreign recruitment 
  • Requiring all workers to receive a statement of rights, pay, hours, living wage and average wage 
  • Requiring compensation for cancelled shifts 
  • Strengthening enforcement of the National Living Wage and health and safety legislation.

Ensuring a voice for workers by:

  • Requiring worker participation on all remuneration committees
  • Applying information and consultation rules to companies with 50 employees. 

Strengthening collective bargaining by

  • Introducing Modern Wages Councils to cover 9 million workers in hospitality, retail and social care
  • Restoring full collective bargaining and ending pay freezes in the public sector
  • Continuing national pay bargaining in health, local government and education and restoring it in the public sector 
  • Providing a legal framework for voluntary sectoral collective bargaining in other sectors with universally applicable wage rates. 

Improving trade union rights by:

  • Strengthening union recognition rights to provide for recognition where majority support is clear
  • Providing mandatory access arrangements to workplaces for unions where requested by workers
  • Ending the use of sweetheart unions to avoid recognition
  • Modernising balloting with e-balloting to increase participation 
  • Removing unfair obstacles to industrial action.

Jeremy Corbyn’s other proposals 

Jeremy Corbyn’s other proposals include compulsory union recognition for collective bargaining over pay for companies with 250 or more employees, increasing the National Living Wage to £10 per hour, and requiring businesses with 21 or more staff to publish pay audits.

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