The Labour Party launched its manifesto IT’S TIME FOR REAL CHANGE ahead of the upcoming General Election on 12 December.
Howard Beckett, Unite Assistant General Secretary for Politics and Legal Affairs, highlights some of the key pledges for Unite members from Labour’s Tackle Poverty & Inequality Work section of its manifesto.
Labour will tackle insecurity by:
- Giving everyone full rights from day one on the job.
- Strengthening protections for whistleblowers and rights against unfair dismissal for all workers, with extra protections for pregnant women, those going through the menopause and terminally ill workers.
- Ending bogus self-employment and creating a single status of ‘worker’ for everyone apart from those genuinely self-employed in business on their own account, so that employers cannot evade workers’ rights; and banning overseas-only recruitment practices.
- Introducing a legal right to collective consultation on the implementation of new technology in workplaces.
- Banning zero-hour contracts and strengthening the law so that those who work regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have a right to a regular contract, reflecting those hours.
Labour will help people balance work and family life by:
- Increasing wages through sectoral collective bargaining.
- Requiring breaks during shifts to be paid.
- Requiring cancelled shifts to be paid and proper notice for changes in hours.
- Giving all workers the right to flexible working.
- Extending statutory maternity pay from nine to 12 months.
- Doubling paternity leave from two weeks to four and increasing statutory paternity pay.
- Introducing statutory bereavement leave, guaranteeing workers time off to grieve the loss of close family members or following miscarriage.
- Introducing four new bank holidays celebrating our four patron saints’ days.
- Reviewing family-friendly employment rights, including rights to respond to family emergencies.
Labour will make sure people are treated equally at work by:
- Requiring employers to devise and implement plans to eradicate the gender pay gap – and pay inequalities underpinned by race and/or disability – or face fines.
- Requiring employers to maintain workplaces free of harassment, including harassment by third parties.
- Increasing protection against redundancy for people wherever they work.
- Giving statutory rights to equalities representatives.
- Setting up a Royal Commission to bring health (including mental health) and safety legislation up to date.
- Ensuring that public-facing workers are protected by toughening the law against abuse and violence.
- Banning unpaid internships.
Labour will remove unfair and unnecessary restrictions on trade unions, allowing people to come together and speak up on issues that affect them at work. Labour will help Unite to help you by repealing anti-trade union legislation including the Trade Union Act 2016, creating new rights and freedoms for trade unions to help them win a better deal for working people and strengthening and enforcing trade unions’ right of entry to workplaces to organise, meet and represent their members and to recruit.
Mr Beckett said: “After nine years of Conservative austerity and attacks on working people, the Country is at breaking point. Under the Tory reign we have seen workers’ rights diluted, our NHS and other public services decimated and an eruption of precarious employment. It’s time for real change.
“Labour’s new manifesto outlines how it will stop the growing in-work insecurity and exploitation by ending bogus self-employment, zero-hours contracts and strengthening worker and trade union rights.
“This is a once in a lifetime election to build a better future for generations to come. Only a Labour government will bring the workers’ protections and much needed investment that our economy and communities have been starved of for nearly a decade.”