The Liberal Democrats have called for major upgrades to workers rights to reflect the modern workplace.
The party has proposed new measures to protect workers whilst maintaining the flexibility valued by businesses and employees alike. These address serious issues that have been raised around insecurity, low pay and uncertain employment rights.
The changes to party policy mean that the Lib Dems are the first of the major parties to take on board the recommendations of the Taylor review and call for proper protections for the 21st century workforce.
The party has called for higher a minimum-wage for workers on zero-hours contracts, a new legal employment category for workers in the gig economy, and greater enforcement of employment rights by HMRC and tribunals.
The Liberal Democrats have a strong record of upholding workers’ rights. Whilst in coalition the Liberal Democrats banned exclusivity clauses in zero-hour contracts, while the party’s manifesto promises to scrap tribunal fees, strengthen worker participation in company decision-making, and give zero-hours workers a formal right to request a fixed contract.
Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said:
“The workplace has evolved and we need to acknowledge the hazards as well as the advantages that arise from this. These proposals will ensure that workers’ rights are fit for the 21st century.
“Flexible labour markets are in general a positive thing. However, there is always a risk that workers will not be treated fairly.
“Work might have changed, but workers’ rights haven’t. We need to embrace the possibilities created by new technology while ensuring that workers get a fair deal.”