Coalition's focus on employment policy

David Reid
25th May 2010

As part of our focus on the new Coalition Government’s legislative programme for employment policy, we outline below the main issues highlighted in the recently published ‘Programme for Government’.

Employment law tribunal cases

As with the initial announcement of the Coalition’s plans to phase out the default retirement age, the detail in respect of the proposed implementation of highlighted employment policies remains unclear at this stage.

The Government has, however, expressed a commitment to the following:

1. The introduction of an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work and to apply transitional controls for all new EU member states in the future.

2. To work to limit the application of the Working Time Directive in the UK and to seek to ensure that no further powers are transferred to the EU.

3. To encourage ‘shared parenting’ from the earliest stages of pregnancy by promoting flexible parental leave.

4. To promote equal pay generally and gender equality on the Boards of listed companies.

5. To extend the right to request flexible working patterns to all employees.

It remains to be seen how long the Government will take to phase in these plans and how they will work in practice.

What is clear, however, is that the new Government has outlined a programme to promote further equality in the workplace and is also encouraging measures designed to create a more flexible UK workforce.

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