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How might a Labour government impact our contingent workforce?





How might a Labour government impact our contingent workforce?


After 14 years of Conservative control, the general election saw the Labour Party come into power marking a significant turning point. With Labour's comprehensive plans to revamp economic and social policies, freelancers and contractors should understand how these changes might impact their work.

Let’s have a look at the key aspects of Labour’s proposed policies and how our contingent workforce should navigate this new political landscape:


  • Housing and Planning


One of Labour's initiatives involves constructing 1.5 million new homes, aimed at boosting social and affordable housing. This is expected to increase demand in the construction and real estate industries, creating an increased requirement for services related to housing development and planning.


  • Single Worker Status


Labour is planning to consolidate the current classification of employment statuses into a single worker status. Currently there are different categories, each with varying rights and protections:


  • Employees – Extensive rights and benefits, high level of employer control and mutual obligation

  • Workers – Basic employment rights and benefits but with more flexibility and less employer control

  • Self-employed – Have minimal employment rights, have full control and financial risk


The single worker status looks to build a unified classification of the above which will ensure that all workers, except those who are genuinely self-employed, are given similar rights and protections from the beginning of their engagement.


Enhanced worker protections such as statutory sick pay, holiday pay and unfair dismissal protection aim to reduce insecurity and exploitation faced by many freelance workers who currently lack basic employment rights.


What does this mean for our contingent workforce?


Independent contractors and those operating via their Personal Service Companies (PSC’s) may need to re-assess their working arrangement. Tax status may be impacted by this new classification, so it is imperative to stay informed with any legislative developments.


  • Protections for the Self-Employed


Whilst an introduction to ‘Single Worker Status’ could be seen to complicate matters for freelancers operating through their own Ltd Companies it could welcome a positive change for the genuinely Self-Employed.


  • Labour intends to establish measures to safeguard the self-employed, such as ensuring a written contract, addressing late payments, and extending health and safety protections.


  • Another aim is to introduce statutory sick pay for the self-employed. This would give financial security to contractors during periods of illness. Whilst this represents a significant advantage for the majority of our contingent workforce, funding for this initiative may impose an increase in National Insurance and tax contributions.


  • Ban Zero-Hour Contracts

Labour aims to provide more security and predictability in working arrangements by suggesting a ban on zero-hours contracts. Individuals currently engaged on such contracts may need to be renegotiate terms to comply with any legislative changes. Whilst this adjustment may limit flexibility it might also promise better stability.


Stonebridge will stay informed about legislative updates to ensure everyone in our contractual chain is well-informed and ready for any changes. Compliance is our top priority, and we embrace changes aimed at enhancing regulations to create a better working environment for all workers, particularly the self-employed. For any questions, get in touch with us today by emailing compliance@sbcontracting.co.uk.    

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