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The 2017 General Election & Jobseekers

Published: Wednesday 7th June 2017

Someone putting in their vote in the ballot box

On the eve of polling day in the 2017 General Election, let’s take a quick look at what the major parties have in store for the working person or those searching for jobs.

National Living Wage
The good news for many jobseekers or those in employment is that all the major parties seem committed to increasing the National Living Wage (NLW) or, better still, the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The Conservatives Manifesto states they will increase the NLW to 60% of median earnings by 2020. Labour’s manifesto also states they will raise the Minimum Wage to the National Living Wage of £10 per hour by 2020. The Green Party share this target, and will also take steps to introduce a universal basic income. The Liberal-Democrats will review and consult on a new living wage.

Zero Hour Contracts
Labour, like the Green Party, would ban Zero Hour Contracts, and allow workers to be guaranteed a minimum number of hours. The Conservatives would ensure that people in the ‘gig’ economy ‘are properly protected’. The Green Party goes further and would phase in a 4-day working week. The Lib-Dems promise to stamp out abuse of Zero Hour Contracts, allowing a formal right to request a fixed contract.

New Bank Holidays
Good news for those in work: Labour would introduce new Bank Holidays on St George’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, St. Andrew’s Day and St. David’s Day. From reading the manifesto it would be 4 new holidays for everyone, rather than just one new Bank Holiday in each country.

Unpaid Internships
Labour: no more unpaid internships.

Maternity Leave
Labour proposes to double it.

Gender Pay Compliance
Labour will introduce civil enforcement to ensure compliance; the Conservatives state that companies with more than 250 employers would be required to publish more data on the pay gap.

Skills Development
Conservatives would introduce the right to request leave for training and also introduce a national retraining scheme.

Tax
Conservatives will increase the personal allowance to £12,500, although there are no longer any guarantees that National Insurance or Income Tax will remain at the same levels.

That’s our brief summary of the major political parties’ proposals affecting workers and jobseekers. Whatever you think of the election, make sure you cast your vote in GE2017 which looks to be a close one.

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