20 July, 2015
The Conservative Party's Manifesto outlines numerous proposals in order to boost employment and support businesses to ultimately improve the economy. Much of David Cameron's election campaign included promoting the former Government's increase of jobs to 1.9 million over 5 years.
They now hope to continue this trend of creating '1,000 new jobs every day' and aim to have 'full employment' by the end of this term. If the Government are able to maintain this growth in employment, then the field of employment law will have to ensure it can keep up with the changing dynamic of the workplace.
The changing face of employment law seems to be going in the direction of HR support for employers, as opposed to court claims for employees. Indeed, the Conservatives will be maintaining their Tribunal fee system which initially sought to reduce the number of claims going to court by 25%, but instead it has been estimated that the decrease is more like 70%.
One of the biggest changes the Government has proposed in terms of supporting small to medium sized businesses is a reduction in their National Insurance Contributions (NIC). Employers with apprentices under 25 will have their NIC cut completely, while a third of employers will not need to pay NIC on the first £2,000 of their employees' wages.
In terms of benefits and welfare, the Government wishes to introduce Youth Allowance for those aged 18 to 21 who are out of work; they will only receive benefits for the first 6 months of unemployment, after which they must join an apprenticeship, traineeship or do daily community work to continue receiving benefits. It will be interesting to see how the Government plans on implementing these schemes: will the employee receive benefits as opposed to a wage while in training? If so who will be required to make the NICs? Will employers have to guarantee a job at the end of the training? This could have a big impact on the types of agreements employers will be looking to create in order to incorporate such training and apprenticeships schemes.
Overall, it will remain to be seen which aspects of the manifesto are implemented by our new Government, but one guarantee is that employment law will have to be at the top of employers and employees agendas when dealing with the turbulent, ever-changing workplace.
For further information please contact Amy Stokes by email or call 01254 222309.