Conservatives have broken election promise on workers’ rights

  • Union body accuses ministers of “watering down” workplace protections for safe working hours, outsourced workers and equal pay
  • TUC calls on government to come clean on scale of employment reforms which could see holiday pay also downgraded

Commenting on the government announcement today (Wednesday) on workers’ rights set to be watered down, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:

“This Conservative government is breaking its promise to the electorate on workers’ rights.

“Having vowed in their manifesto to protect and enhance employment standards, ministers are rowing back on that pledge and watering down workers’ rights.

“Loosening rules on recording hours is undermining working-time protections by stealth. It is a gift to rogue employers looking to exploit workers and put them through long, gruelling shifts without enough rest.

“Tinkering with the status of EU law could unravel decades of case law – making it harder for workers to enforce their rights and for women to make equal pay claims.

“And the government is plotting an outright attack on the rights of outsourced workers, by stripping many of them of a voice when they are transferred to new employers.”

On changes to holiday pay, which will see holiday pay calculated differently from current EU law, Paul added:

“Holidays are sacred to British workers. The last they need is the government unpicking the way their holiday pay is currently calculated.

“The current law ensures that most holiday is paid in line with workers’ normal earnings, including regular overtime. Ministers shouldn’t be meddling with this.”

And on scrapping sunset clause, Paul added:

“After countless warnings from unions, business and environmental groups – the government is finally stepping back from its disastrous plan to rip up every single piece of EU-retained law by the end of the year.

“But with 600 laws still being scrapped at the end of the 2023, ministers must now come clean on their plans on workers’ rights and publish the full list of regulations set to be axed.”