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Employment law under a new Conservative Government

As we get closer to a general election, there is a strong possibility that the country will soon have a Conservative Government for the first time since 1997. The last Conservative administration transformed both collective and individual employment law over the course of its 18 years in power. In this article, we consider those areas of employment law on which an incoming Conservative Government might focus. We look at the indications about Conservative policy in these areas, and at how easy it would be for a new Conservative Government to change the current rules, and the mechanisms that it might use. 

On this page:
Primary or secondary legislation required?
Europe and the social chapter
Equality law
The Equality and Human Rights Commission
Trade unions and industrial action
Individual employment rights
The national minimum wage
Conclusion

Primary or secondary legislation required?

One factor that would be important to a new Conservative Government is whether or not a particular change would require primary legislation: an Act of Parliament. Because any new administration has a large number of potential Acts competing for parliamentary time, changes that require extensive primary legislation are unlikely to be made early in a new Government's first term.