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Election 2010: Comparison Of Employment Law Policies (Part 2)

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Labour Party Liberal Democrats Conservative Party
Unfair Dismissal

Labour reduced the service qualification period for claiming unfair dismissal  from two years to 12 months. It has no plans to lower this any further.

No changes to current law.

No changes announced, but the Conservatives have called for a wide-reaching review of the employment tribunal system.

Discrimination & Equal Pay (1) Labour have extended protection from discrimination to part-time & fixed term workers, sexual orientation, religion/belief and age.

(2) The new Equality Act imposes a duty on public bodies to address socio-economic inequality arising from social class or family background.

Failure to consider socio-economic factors before making decisions in areas like recruitment could lead to judicial review.

The Act also requires employers with over 250 employees to publish statistics on gender pay differences and renders pay secrecy clauses unenforceable.

Moreover, the Act extends the scope for employers to use positive action to recruit someone from an under-represented group when choosing between otherwise equal candidates.

In addition, the Act tackles misuse of pre-employment questionnaires about health or disability.

(3) The party also plan to scrap or increase the current default retirement age of 65.

(1) Promise to implement Equality Act in full.

(2) Scrap default retirement age and allow workers to carry on working for as long as they want.

(3) Introduce "name-blind" application forms for employers with over 100 employees.

(4) Extend protection to workers discriminated against on the grounds of faith when faith-based schools recruit staff, except for teachers principally responsible for religious instruction.

(1) Promise to implement Equality Act, except for the socio-economic duty.

(2) Introduce "fair pay" audits for every employer with over 100 employees.

(3) Continue consultation on default retirement age.

Public Sector Workers

Cap public sector pay rises at 1% in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Cap public sector pay rises at £400 per annum, initially for two years.

(1) Freeze pay for public sector workers (excluding the million lowest paid workers).

(2) Cut ministers' pay by 5%, followed by a five year pay freeze.

(3) Give public sector workers the right to form "employee-owned cooperatives" to take over the services they deliver.

Other Guarantee all unemployed people over the age of 16 will be entitled to education, training or a job after six months. Require public companies to declare any remuneration of £200,000 or more. Replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with a UK Bill of Rights. Very few details have been released on what the Bill of Rights will look like, but it could have a major impact on employment law, particularly in relation to privacy and data protection.


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