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What PM Corbyn Means For Your Work and Inheritance

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

With the shock of the UK general election result it may be worth reflecting that even though Conservatives have won the most votes, history is not on their side when it comes to running a successful subsequent minority administration.

Since 1918 there have been three other general elections that have been followed by minority governments.

All of those minority governments have been unsuccessful.

The first minority adminstration in 1924 lasted ten months before being defeated.

The second in 1929 lasted just over two years before breaking up over argument over public spending cuts.

The third was the Labour administration of 1974 to 1979 which ended with the winter of discontent and a successful motion of no confidence and the rise to power of Margaret Thatcher.

As Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Governance, at Kings College has observed, none of the minority governements successfully tackled the economic problems at the time.

Given this and the challenge of Brexit, the most likely outcome is that the Conservative Government will be both unsuccessful and ultimately fold and a new (early) election will happen and the momentum will lead to Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.

Given the emphasis that this firm takes on employment law and inheritance issues, what are the likely laws which will come to be when Corbyn becomes Prime Minister?

One needs to look at the Labour Manifesto(which most people did not take seriously but should do so now) and for employment law Labour has a twenty point plan including...

1. Expansion of employment rights. - Labour would give all workers equal rights from their first day of employment, regardless of whether they were full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary. Qualifying service goes out the window. The impact would be to make it possible for a number of employees to have employment rights and potentially sue their employer.

2. No more zero hours contracts The Labour Party would ban zero hours contracts, guaranteeing every worker a minimum number of paid hours. Labour would also strengthen the law so that those who work short hours for more than 12 weeks on a regular basis will have the right to a regular contract which reflects those hours.

3 A new living wage for all Labour says it will raise the minimum wage to the level of the “Living Wage (expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020)”. This would apply to all workers aged 18 or over.

4. Enforce right to union representation. All workers would have the right to trade union representation at work.

5. No more tribunal fees.The Labour Party would end the fees that Claimants have to pay in employment tribunals.

Increase in paternity leave. Paid paternity leave would increase to four weeks and paternity pay would increase also.

7 Possible rising in redundancy pay. Labour has observed “Workers in Britain are among the easiest and cheapest to make redundant, meaning when multinational companies are taking decisions to downsize that British workers are at a disadvantage. We will consult with trade unions and industry on reviewing redundancy arrangements to bring workers in Britain more into line with their European counterparts”.

8 Employers not “meeting their responsibilities” would face fines from a new Ministry of Labour, which would include trade unions on its executive board. This new Ministry of Labour would be resourced such that it could enforce all workers’ rights.

Essentially if implemented the Labour Party would have the most pro worker regime ever in English history with it being Christmas for workers,(if they can get a job) Trade Unions and employment lawyers too. 

According to the Labour manifesto one way they would pay for this would be to reversing tax giveaways £3.7bn on capital gains tax, inheritance tax, bank levy and scrapping the married persons’ tax allowance.

In particular Labour would reverse the Conservative changes of extending the ability to pass on a £1m home tax free so on the inheritance side is not too radical and  more a case of reversing recent Tory legislation.

Essentially 40% inheritance tax would apply on couples estates above £650k which is a move against tax free inheritance but nothing like the changes to the workplace.