As you will all be aware, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a snap election for 4 July 2024, putting to bed months of speculation surrounding the future of the current UK Government.

The election has called into question the status of legislation currently going through parliament, and what this means for the future status of employees. The dissolution of parliament set for 30 May – which marks the end of the current government, means all unfinished parliamentary business falls, including any bills that have not been passed.

It looks likely that out of current employment legislation going through parliament, only ‘fire and rehire’ reforms will be pushed through before then. Dismissal and re-engagement, also known as ‘fire and rehire’, refers to when an employer fires an employee and offers them a new contract on new, often less favourable terms. The Government has been clear that it firmly opposes this practice being used as a negotiating tactic and plans to introduce a new statutory Code of Practice making it clear on how it expects employers to behave in this area.

“The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2024 (Sexual Harassment changes) and Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 have both received royal assent, however these are complete Acts of Parliament and normally require supporting regulations as well as a commencement order. It will therefore be surprising if these are rushed through in time – however, there is nothing to stop the new Government picking them up if it aligns with their priorities.

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 seems the least likely to proceed as it is effectively a completely new law which would require supporting regulations. There are questions whether this will proceed now at all.

Interestingly, a survey by the charity ‘Working Families’ found that childcare concerns are set to be a significant factor in how working parents intend to vote. It found almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of working parents said that they think the next government should introduce reforms which improve parents’ leave and/or pay entitlements.

A further 7 in 10 (67 per cent) said they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate or party that promised better leave and entitlements, and a further two-thirds (65 per cent) of those polled said statutory maternity/paternity pay of £172.48 per week is not an adequate amount.

Kyle Green, stakeholder, and engagement manager at Working Families, said the results show “parental leave reform is a priority for many, and is likely to influence their vote in the next general election”. “With three quarters (73 per cent) of parents calling for the government to introduce reforms to maternity and paternity leave and pay, any future government must take heed of the call to do more to support parents in a baby’s first year, particularly enabling fathers and partners to take longer, better paid periods of leave, beyond the two weeks of statutory paternity leave currently offered,” he said.

Client Day: further info/request
Food for thought in respect of what you are currently offering your employees? Your benefits package plays a critical part in your attraction & retention strategy – this is a hot topic for discussion as part of our upcoming client day on the 26th of June. We will be looking at the Employee Lifecycle and how each stage of that process shapes the employee experience.

We would now ask that you let us know if you would like to attend on the day (12 noon – 2.30pm) so that we can collate numbers for buffet & seating purposes. Please send your confirmation of attendance to , thank you.

As always if you have any questions regarding the above or if you’d like to discuss these or any other points further please give one of our employment law specialists a call or get in touch via our Contact Form.