General election: what next for HR?
Given the large majority won by the Conservatives on 13 December, it seems likely that Boris Johnson will “Get Brexit Done”, passing the necessary legislation to leave the EU on 31 January. So what do the next five years have in store in the world of employment and business immigration law and what can HR practitioners expect?
Brexit and immigration
Over the last few months, as the Brexit situation has developed, we have produced a series of blogs summarising the government’s position on immigration:
- In particular, the Conservatives are determined to revamp the “Australian-style points-based immigration system”;
- EU nationals and their family members already in the UK will be required to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme and in the event of no deal, the deadline for applications will be 31 December 2020 EU nationals post Brexit;
- EU nationals and their family members arriving in the UK after Brexit in the event of no deal will be required to apply for European temporary leave to remain (Euro TLR) (valid for 36 months). Alternatively, they will be able to apply under the future immigration system. The deadline for applications under Euro TLR will be 31 December 2020 EU nationals post Brexit;
- In the event of a deal, the transition period will continue until 31 December 2020 and new EU arrivals to the UK after 1 January 2021 will be subject to a new immigration system.
They have also promised to “actively recruit leaders in their field to come to the UK. The small number of the best technology and science graduates from the top universities in the world and those who win top scientific prizes will be offered fast-track entry to the UK – these people can do more than any others to drive scientific progress and help our NHS and our economy.”
In the Conservative manifesto the party pledged to:
- Adopt a single enforcement body to police abuses of employment laws.
- Extend carers’ leave entitlement to 1 week.
- Give workers the right to request a more predictable contract (as recommended by the Taylor Review).
The government plans to increase the National Living Wage to 2/3rds of average earnings and to apply this rate to those aged 21 and over (currently it only applies if you are 25 and over).
The government proposes to:
- Make it more difficult for employers to make women redundant when they return from maternity leave.
- Look at ways to made it easier for fathers to take paternity leave.
- Provide new rights for parents to take extended leave for neo-natal care.
- Help create higher quality, affordable wrap around and school holiday childcare.
The government will “encourage flexible working” and consult on making it the default position unless the employer has good reasons not to allow it.
Employment status/ Off Payroll working rules / IR35
Although not in their manifesto, in the final days of the campaign, Chancellor Sajid Javid promised to undertake a review of the Off Payroll Working Rules which are due to come into force on 6 April 2020. You can hear our take on this announcement here.
The government will:
- Publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020 which will look at ways to improve job opportunities and access for disabled people.
- Reduce the disability employment gap.
The manifesto promises to improve incentives to tackle the problem of excessive executive pay and rewards for failure.
The manifesto is scant on detail about any of these policies and, given the nature of the election campaign, we heard little additional information to put flesh on the bones of any of these proposals, so watch this space for further information and announcements as they are provided.
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