Following on from yesterday’s post by Mark Edwards on proposals from the main parties on pay and working time, zero hours contracts and protection for vulnerable workers, today I will look at what each manifesto pledges to do about discrimination and employment tribunals.
Discrimination, Equality and Human Rights
The Conservative Party aims to halve the disability employment gap by changing “policy, practice and public attitudes”
in employment.The Conservative Party also proposes to promote gender pay equality with policies such as requiring all businesses with more than 250 employees to publish the difference between the average male and female salary (also a policy of the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party).
UKIP, perhaps unsurprisingly, supports British based businesses being allowed to choose to employ British citizens first and would seek to restrict access to EURES, the EU-wide jobs portal, and end EU relocation grants for migrant workers coming to work in the UK .
There is a clear divide between parties on the subject of Human Rights. The Conservative Party have pledged to scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights. This would break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, making the Supreme Court, just that, in deciding human rights matters in the UK (something which UKIP make clear is a priority, in its manifesto). UKIP pledge that any Bill of Rights introduced by it would be a UK Bill of Rights applicable across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats want to keep The Human Rights Act.
Employment Tribunals and enforcement
Employment Tribunal fees are also a dividing issue between the main political parties. The Conservative Party stands by the Employment Tribunal reforms it has made, stating that the changes have helped small businesses, whilst the Liberal Democrats say they would review the fees, the Green Party suggests reducing the fees and the Labour Party pledge to abolish the Tribunal fee system (whether this means to abolish fees or just to abolish the current system of fees, remains to be seen!)
In the final part of this short series on the General Election 2015 and employment, I will look at what each party proposes for working parents and their families.
For further information on any of these pledges, see the full party manifestos
- Conservative Party manifesto
- Labour Party manifesto
- Liberal Democrat manifesto
- Green Party manifesto
- UKIP manifesto
- SNP manifesto
Photo: “Gavel” by Salvatore Vuono from freedigitalphotos.net