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The Liberal Democrat Party - Manifesto policies in relation to employment law and the workplace

The Liberal Democrat Party published its manifesto on 20 November 2019. Its key policies in relation to employment law include:

  • The introduction of a "dependent contractor" employment status to sit in between "employment" and "self-employment". Workers falling under this label would be entitled to national minimum wage, sick pay and holiday.

  • Changing the law so that flexible working is open to all from day one in the job and requiring employers to advertise the job as such.

  • Reviewing the tax and national insurance status of employees, dependent contractors and freelancers to ensure fair and comparable treatment.

  • Giving a right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months for zero hours and agency workers.

  • Shifting the burden of proof in employment status cases from the individual to the employer.

  • Establishing a new Worker Protection Enforcement Authority to protect those in precarious work.

  • Expand the rights and benefits available to those in insecure forms of employment, such as offering parental leave.

  • Establish an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine living wage.

  • Set the minimum wage for people on zero hour contracts at times of normal demand 20% higher, off-setting periods of uncertain hours.

  • Review the proposals to change the IR35 rules.

  • Increase statutory paternity leave to up to six weeks.

  • Require organisations to publish parental leave and pay policies.

  • Aim for women to make up at least 40% of FTSE 350 board members and implement the recommendations of the Parker Review to increase ethnic minority representation.

  • Extend pay gap reporting to include BAME, and LGBT+ figures and generally to develop a government-wide plan to tackle BAME inequalities.

  • Review funding of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to ensure that it is adequate.

  • Reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to remove the requirement for medical reports and formally recognise non-binary gender identities.

  • Outlaw caste discrimination.

  • The introduction of a Skills Wallet, giving every adult in England £10,000 to spend on education and training. Employers will be expected to contribute funds.

  • The apprenticeship levy will become a wider-reaching "Skills and Training Levy", with 25% of the funds raised going into a "Social Mobility Fund".

  • Giving staff in listed companies with more than 250 employees a right to request shares, to be held in trust for the benefit of employees.

  • Strengthening worker participation in decision-making, including staff representation on remuneration committees, and requiring all UK-listed companies and all private companies with more than 250 employees to have at least one employee representative on their boards with the same legal duties and responsibilities as other directors.

  • Reforming fiduciary duty and company purpose rules to ensure that all large companies have a formal statement of corporate purpose, which will give consideration to employee welfare, environmental standards, community benefit and ethical practice, alongside benefit to shareholders, and that they report formally on the wider impact of the business on society and the environment.

  • Requiring binding and public vote of shareholders on executive pay policies.

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