Liberal democrats

What does the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto mean for employment law?

What does the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto mean for employment law?

The Liberal Democrats released their manifesto ‘For a Fair Deal’ on Monday 10th June in support of their election campaign. We have highlighted some key areas of the manifesto that would impact HR and employment law.

Wages and Pay

Genuine living wage

  • Consult on the intention to create a ‘genuine living wage’.

Carer’s minimum wage

  • To introduce a Carer’s minimum wage which would sit at £2 higher than the current minimum wage
  • This is to help tackle the staff shortages in this sector.

Zero hours minimum wage

  • Implement a 20% increase in the national minimum wage for those on zero hour contracts during times of ‘normal demand’
  • This is to help compensate for the uncertainty of fluctuating work.


  • Remove the lower apprenticeship minimum wage rate and ensure that they are paid at least the national minimum wage.

Statutory Sick Pay

  • Make SSP available to workers who earn less than the current threshold of £123 a week
  • Align SSP with minimum wage
  • Make SSP available from the first day of illness, rather than the fourth day
  • Consult on the best way to support small employers with SSP costs.

Family friendly policies and pay

  • Almost double the current rate of Statutory Maternity Pay and Shared Parental Pay (£184.03) to £350 a week
  • Give all workers, including those self-employed, the day one right to parental leave and pay
  • Plans to increase paternity pay to 90% of the employee’s earnings (capped for high earners)
  • Provide an extra ‘use it or lose it’ month of leave for fathers and partners – paid at 90% of earnings.
  • Require employers to publish parental leave and pay policies.
  • Plans for free childcare for working parents for children up to the age of 4

‘Dependent contractor’

The Liberal Democrats would like to introduce a fourth employment status which fits between employed and self-employed, ‘dependent contractor’. This new status would provide entitlement to basic employment rights such as:

  • minimum wage levels
  • sick pay
  • holiday entitlement.

Zero hour contracts

  • Provide the right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months service for zero hours and agency workers (which cannot be unreasonably refused)
  • Review the rules surrounding pensions so that gig economy workers do not lose out.


  • Remove the current salary threshold for migrant workers and replace with a ‘merit-based’ system
  • Stop the recent introduced ban on foreign care workers bringing dependents to the UK
  • Reverse the increase in income thresholds for family visas
  • Remove the immigration skills charge for NHS and care staff
  • End the Rwanda scheme and ‘provide safe and legal routes’ for asylum seekers.

Carer’s allowance and support

  • Reform Carer’s allowance by:
    • immediately increasing the benefit by £20 a week
    • expanding its eligibility
    • increasing how much people can earn before losing the benefit.
  • Add ‘caring’ or ‘care experience’ to the list of protected characteristics
  • Introduce ‘adjustment passports’ for those with caring responsibilities, making it a duty of the employer to make the reasonable adjustments listed on the passport

Up-skilling and apprenticeships

  • Provide a ‘Lifelong Skills Grants’ for every adult in the UK which will include £5,000 to spend on education and training courses, with the aim to raise to £10,000.
  • Increase the availability of vocational training such as foundation degrees, higher national diplomas, High National Certificates and Higher Apprenticeships.
  • Increase the availability of apprenticeships and career advice for young people.
  • Replace the apprenticeship levy with a ‘broader and more flexible’ skills and training levy.

Equality and diversity


  • Create the right for disabled staff to work from home, rather than it be a request as a reasonable adjustment
  • Flexible working for all, rather than just a ‘right to request’
  • Organisations of 250 or more staff should provide staff with the right to request shares
  • Large organisations to have at least one employee representative on their boards who has the same legal duties and responsibilities as other directors


  • Large employers would be required to monitor and publish data on gender, ethnicity, disability and LGBTQ+ employment levels, pay gaps and progression
  • Large employers would also be required to publish five-year aspirational diversity targets

Neurodiversity support in the workplace

Additional support and advice for employers on neurodiversity.

Employment tribunals

The Liberal Democrats would swap the burden of proof in tribunals regarding employment status from the individual to the employer.


  • Spread the use of name-blind recruitment processes in the public sector and encourage it in the private sector.
  • Reform criminal record disclosure rules so applicants do not have to declare any ‘irrelevant, old and minor convictions’.
  • Removing questions about criminal conviction from the initial application forms for all public sector jobs.

Getting prepared

Preparation is key for employers in terms of the proposed changes. Once the results are in from the election on the 4th July it will be of the upmost importance for employers to begin preparing for whichever changes come into force. At HPC we are here to support our clients through this to ensure they remain up-to-date and compliant with any HR and employment law changes that are introduced.

To find out more information or if you require HR and employment law support for your business get in contact with our team of experts.

T: 0330 107 1037


LinkedIn: High Performance Consultancy

The contents of this article are for general information purposes only. Whilst High Performance Consultancy Ltd endeavours to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and we do not accept any liability for error or omission.

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