#GE24 focus: the Labour manifesto

Labour has confirmed that, if elected, it will “create a partnership between business and trade unions, by implementing Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering a New Deal for Working People in full”.  It will consult fully on implementing its plans before legislating “within the first 100 days”.

We previously considered how Labour’s plans might affect employers. But what else in Keir Starmer’s plan for change could impact your business?


Labour plans to reform the points-based immigration system and intends to:

  • Ban employers who breach employment law from hiring workers from abroad.
  • Ensure that migration to address skills shortages triggers a plan to upskill workers and improve working conditions in the UK.
  • Strengthen the Migration Advisory Committee and establish a framework for joint work with skills bodies across the UK, the Industrial Strategy Council, and the DWP.
  • End the long-term reliance on overseas workers in some parts of the economy by introducing workforce and training plans for sectors such as health and social care and construction.

Safer workplaces

Its Plan includes a proposal to ‘review health and safety guidance and regulations with a view to modernising legislation and guidance where it does not fully reflect the modern workplace’.  Labour intends to:

  • Commit to modernising health and safety guidance on extreme temperatures.
  • Work with employers, trade unions, and other stakeholders to support workers’ well-being and long-term physical and mental health.
  • Consider whether existing regulations and guidance are adequate to support and protect those experiencing the symptoms of long-term COVID-19.
  • Ensure health and safety reflects the diversity of the workforce. 
  • Require employers to create and maintain workplaces and working conditions free from harassment, including by third parties and adequately tackle sexual harassment at work.

Training and skills

Labour intends to deepen the devolution settlement for existing Combined Authorities and widen devolution to more areas. As part of this plan, local areas will gain new powers over adult education and skills and employment support. Local leaders will work with major employers, universities, colleges, and industry bodies to produce plans that identify growth sectors and put in place associated programmes and infrastructures.

Reducing economic inactivity

Labour proposes a variety of measures aimed at getting economically inactive people into work, including:

  • Reforming employment support so that it drives growth and opportunity. 
  • Providing a national jobs and careers service which is responsive to local employers.
  • Creating plans to support more disabled people and those with health conditions into work. 
  • Tackling the backlog of Access to Work claims and giving disabled people the confidence to start working without the fear of an immediate benefit reassessment if it does not work out.
  • Establishing a youth guarantee of access to training, an apprenticeship, or support to find work for all 18 to 21-year-olds.

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