What is the impact of a hung parliament for HR?


Polling station

The recent UK general election has caused uncertainty in the field of HR as it resulted in a hung parliament, due to the Conservative party not attaining enough seats to command a majority in the House of Commons.

As the Conservatives are now a minority government, they may find it
difficult to push forward some of their key manifesto pledges on employment. Some of the pledges included:

  • a year’s unpaid leave to care for a relative and two weeks’ paid leave for parents who lose a child;
  • better rights for workers in the gig economy;
  • a guarantee that workers’ rights and protections would remain the same during the Brexit negotiation period;
  • extend reporting obligations to include companies’ ethnicity pay gap;
  • improved worker representation on company boards; and
  • measures to protect pensions.

So, what does this mean for HR?

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said “the key focus must be on addressing workplace issues through a much more human lens. By focusing on improving transparency in business, protecting and raising awareness of rights for workers and boosting investment in skills, we can hope to ensure that work can be a force for good, regardless of how, when and where people work.”

There is a worry that as the Brexit negotiations are now high on the agenda, the new government will lose focus on what was promised in the debates; implementing the new employment policies.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said “The next government must deliver a new deal for working people. They should implement popular policies from the campaign – like banning zero-hour contracts, pushing up the minimum wage and delivering a long overdue pay rise for nurses, midwives and all public servants.”

O’Grady has said that the focus should be on UK jobs, decent wages and workers’ rights first before any talk on the Brexit deal.

It would be wise to ensure that workers in the UK have stable jobs and above basic employment rights before dealing with the Brexit negotiations. Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), said that the new cabinet needed to prioritise prosperity and jobs.      He said: “The REC will work hard over the coming days, weeks and months to build links with the new government and to make them aware of the positive contribution our industry makes to the UK economy and labour market.”

Whilst the hung parliament has cast uncertainty on the implementation of employment policies, we hope the Prime Minister will work to follow through with her pledges and prioritise workers’ rights in the UK.

Has your business already started adapting for the knock on effects the hung parliament will bring? Comment below and share how your business is preparing.

By Cassandra Esan