The pre-election campaign is heating up, with political parties battling for votes by focusing on some key issues affecting employees.
We can expect to see the national minimum wage continue to increase. The Conservative Party’s sights are set on reaching a minimum wage of £7 per hour, while the Labour Party has pledged to increase the minimum wage to £8 per hour by 2020.
A Labour government would also increase the level of fines payable by employers that fail to pay the national minimum wage.
A continued focus on pensions is guaranteed. If the Labour Party wins the majority of votes, it will seek to make more employees eligible for auto-enrolment by decreasing the minimum earnings threshold from £10,000 to £5,773.
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Another big topic will be zero-hours contracts, with the exclusivity clause on its way out. Labour and the UK Independence Party have both pledged a new law that would require employers to offer a fixed-hours contract to any employee who has been on a zero-hours contract for one year.
And then there is childcare to consider. The Conservative Party plans to implement its proposal for a tax-free childcare allowance of up to £2,000 for every child under 12 years old and the Labour Party pledges to increase free childcare for working parents to 25 hours per week, but we will have to wait until 7 May to see which pledges come to fruition.
While none of these policies are groundbreaking, one can see that the intention is to improve employee benefits.
Michelle Tudor is an employment and education solicitor at Barlow Robbins