Labour's minimum wage plans that could affect 'hundreds of thousands'

Labour's Angela Rayner launched the New Deal for Working People in 2021
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Changes to the minimum wage and new laws affecting workers were promised by Labour ahead of the General Election. With the party now in power after a landslide victory, the new Prime Minister Keir Starmer has said he will "hit the ground running".

The new PM said that there is a "huge amount of work to do" that they would start straight away. In its manifesto, Labour said it would bring in new legislation as part of its 'new deal for working people' within its first 100 days in power.

The party has said it wants to "make work pay" and that its plan will ban exploitative work conditions and give workers more rights, reports the Manchester Evening News. Labour has said it will make sure the minimum wage is a 'genuine living wage'.

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This will involve changing the remit of the independent Low Pay Commission - which advises the government on the minimum wage - so it accounts for the cost of living for the first time.The party also said it would remove age bands so that all adults are entitled to the same minimum wage.

According to the manifesto, which describes the current age bands as 'discriminatory', this would give 'hundreds of thousands of workers across the UK ' a pay rise.

Labour's Plan to Make Work Pay commits to banning 'exploitative' zero-hours contracts, ending fire and rehire by employers and introducing basic rights 'from day one' of a new job. This includes rights to parental leave, sick pay and protection from unfair dismissal.

The party has said it will implement its 'new deal for working people' in full within the first 100 days. However, the manifesto says that it will 'consult fully' with businesses, workers and civil society on how to put these plans into practice before legislation is passed.

The manifesto also commits to strengthening the 'collective voice of workers', including through their trade unions, and create a Single Enforcement Body to ensure employment rights are upheld. It says these changes will improve the lives of working people.

The party has also promised to end 'bogus self-employment' arguing that some employers are exploiting a currently complex system to deny workers their legal rights. Labour says it will move towards a 'single status' of workers and create a simpler framework that differentiates between workers and the genuinely self-employed while making sure people can still benefit from flexible working.

The election manifesto says: "Greater in-work security, better pay, and more autonomy in the workplace improve the lives of working people and bring substantial economic benefits. Britain's outdated employment laws are not fit for the modern economy, and recent Conservative legislation has fuelled hostility and confrontation leading to the worst period in industrial relations since the 1980s.

"For too many people a job does not offer the route out of poverty it should: either because work is insecure, inflexible, or low paid; or because people face barriers when trying to move into a better job. Responsible businesses face being undercut when rights are not enforced properly.

"Labour will stop the chaos and turn the page to create a partnership between business and trade unions."