Workplace rights: On the blue horizon

What are the implications of a Conservative election victory for employment law?

by Michael Burd and James Davies, Lewis Silkin LLP solicitors -e-mail:
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

An immediate challenge would be what to do about the overhaul of discrimination law in the Equality Bill, assuming the Government is able to enact it before polling day. The Tories would most likely implement the bulk of the new regime, save for contentious measures such as requiring firms to report on their gender pay-gap. Deregulation would be a central theme - shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke has promised a 'bonfire of red tape' and a 'one in, one out' policy on workplace legislation. Reform of the employment tribunal system is on the cards too, possibly including stricter rules on losing claimants having to pay their employer's costs. Trickiest issue for the Conservatives is Europe. David Cameron says he wants to repatriate economic and social policy to national level, but that would require renegotiation of the EU treaties. All in all, any employers expecting significant shrinkage of their legal burdens under a new administration should perhaps dream on.

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