It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the UK will have a general election before Christmas. If there is an election, Jeremy Corbyn's recent speech to TUC Congress indicates what a potential Labour government's priorities for employment policy might be. The proposals, if implemented, would result in significant changes to the current employment law landscape. They include:
- Creating a Ministry for Employment Rights, tasked with overseeing "the biggest extension of rights for workers that our country has ever seen", in relation both to individual and collective rights at work;
- Introducing sectoral collective bargaining to negotiate minimum terms on pay, working hours, and recruitment and grievance processes, which would be applicable on a sector-wide basis;
- Extending trade union rights, including by repealing the Trade Union Act 2016 "in its entirety";
- Removing the current distinction between employees and workers when determining employment rights;
- Giving all workers the right to request flexible working and placing a duty on employers to accommodate requests; and
- Banning unpaid internships and zero hour contracts.