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More Manifesto pledges – what changes are the Conservative and Green Parties proposing to the workplace? (Part 1)

Nick Thorpe
14/04/2015
Today sees the launch of both the Conservative Party's and the Green Party's manifestos for the May 2015 General Election. It has to be said that some of the more headline-grabbing pledges, such as Today sees the launch of both the Conservative Party's and the Green Party's manifestos for the May 2015 General Election. It has to be said that some of the more headline-grabbing pledges, such as the proposed revival of the Conservatives' right-to-buy scheme, will not have a direct impact on the workplace, but buried within each manifesto are some interesting workplace proposals.

First off the block was the Green Party. The main proposals from the Green Party's manifesto are summarised below.

Green Party – "For the Common Good"

Pay

  • End the exploitation of young people in low-wage jobs.

  • Make the minimum wage a living wage for all, with a target of £10 per hour by 2020.

  • Make the highest wage in any organisation no more than ten times the lowest wage.


Working hours

  • Phase in a 35-hour week.


Zero hour contracts

  • End exploitative zero-hour contracts


Unions and employee representation

  • Revive the role of democratic trade unions.

  • Give workers a greater say in the running of their companies, including employee-elected directors in medium and larger companies.

  • End blacklisting and consider the creation of a new criminal offence.

  • Grant employees the legal right in certain circumstances to buy out their companies (funded by the Green Investment Bank) and turn them into workers' cooperatives.


Equality

  • Make equal pay for men and women a reality and enforce penalties against employers who continue to implement unequal pay.

  • Require 40% of all members of public company and public sector boards to be women.

  • Ensure the laws to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity are properly enforced.

  • Reinstate the funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

  • Work towards ending stigma against people with mental health problems, including discrimination in employment.

  • End the system whereby an external occupational health contractor assesses whether people are fit for work and return to the system of relying on the judgment of GPs and other health professionals.

  • Raise the profile of the Access to Work scheme among smaller firms and disabled people, with far greater transparency over how the scheme is administered.

  • Progressively introduce anonymised CVs so that Black and Minority Ethnic and female candidates are not excluded before the interview stage because of their identity.

  • Ensure the public sector does more to employ Black and Minority Ethnic employees.

  • Ensure greater diversity at all levels of government and public bodies.

  • Legislate to remedy inequality in pension inheritance for same-sex marriage partners and same-sex civil partners.


Skills and training

  • Ensure that no unpaid full-time internship lasts more than four weeks.

  • Support the right of young people all over Europe to go to other parts of the EU to work and broaden their experience.

  • Provide an apprenticeship to all qualified young people aged 16 – 25 who do not have one and want one.


Family friendly

  • Provide a comprehensive nationwide system of good-quality pre-school early education and childcare, free at the point of delivery.


Employment Tribunals

  • Reduce Employment Tribunal fees.


Tax

  • Reduce employers' National Insurance contributions for small businesses to 8%.

  • Abolish the employees' National Insurance upper threshold.

  • Raise the top rate of income tax to 60%.

  • Introduce a wealth tax of 2% a year on the top 1%.

  • Simplify PAYE.

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