Labour’s 100-Day Employment Law Sprint – Is Your HR Team Ready?

We now know Labour will be forming our next Government, so there is absolutely no uncertainty about what will happen next! Oh, hang on… there’s still rather a lot of uncertainty to come yet!

If you’re a business leader with an HR team, you’re probably all wondering what to do – what policies to change, what changes to start working towards, what to communicate to your employees… we’ve summarised our thoughts and offered some guidance below.

Labour will soon be on their 100-day sprint – fulfilling their promise to introduce new employment laws within the first 100 days in office. These employment law changes will be significant and there’ll be many of them – said to be “the biggest upgrade of workers’ rights in a generation”.

Labour will start rolling out their ‘Make Work Pay’ programme – introducing changes that will undoubtedly have a profound impact on your business. But, despite all the hype and lots of promises being made in their election campaign, nothing is yet set in stone. And, chances are, everything will be slightly diluted when the changes come into effect.

So, what should or could you do now? And, in an attempt to offer real practical business advice in our usual pragmatic style, what should you or your HR teams not bother doing right now?!

Don’t Rush Ahead & Make Changes Based on Election Promises

When the fiction of an election campaign is filtered through the reality of a legal system, the resulting changes are likely to be very different to what was promised to secure votes.

Do Focus on Training, Development & Apprenticeship Planning

We do know there’ll be a focus on training and up-skilling the workforce. It would be a good idea for HR teams to use this time to focus on skills-gap analysis, training and development plans and considering how the business could benefit from a more structured approach to apprenticeships.

Don’t Bother Updating HR Policies

There’s simply no point. Everything in these documents will need changing and you can’t pre-empt the changes that are coming. You’ll end up doing everything twice.

Do Implement New Processes & Systems

Consider the coming weeks to be the downtime your HR teams have been longing for – plenty of time for thoughtful consideration of HR processes and potentially time to reflect and consider what systems might help simplify, or even automate, HR tasks. Now would be the perfect time to put a new HR management system in place.

Don’t Bother Updating Employment Contracts & Employee Handbooks

Employees will already being feeling nervous about any changes. Actually, they’re probably quietly excited about them. But, people don’t like change. And changing things once will be painful enough. Save yourself and your HR teams from unnecessary pain!

But, Do Consider Employee Communications

With so many changes, inevitably, employees will have lots of questions. Effectively communicating changes is absolutely critical to embedding changes and managing change smoothly. Your HR teams could be using this time to consider what will need to be communicated, what methods of communication would be most efficient and how to ensure communication flows both ways, and isn’t simply company broadcast.

Don’t Enter Into Political Discussions & Stay Neutral in Official Communications

Everyone’s political views will be different, and the strength of those views will vary enormously. Everyone will have their unique perspective and the views of business owners and business leaders is likely to be very different from the views of employees… no matter how much they seem to agree with everything you say!

Do Reflect & Assess the Risks of Proposed Changes with Senior Management

This 100-day employment law sprint will provide management time to reflect – considering, understanding and identifying opportunities to use these changes for good and improving the business from the ground up, whilst mitigating risks associated with such dramatic change.

Don’t Pause Business-as-Usual Within HR

While all these changes are taking effect, you need to ensure your business is still compliant. Just because the law is changing, doesn’t mean the current laws won’t be able to be enforced later… so don’t send your entire team off on an extended holiday just yet!!

Your HR teams are about to be overwhelmed with change – understanding, interpreting, implementing, communicating and managing… these changes will put even the most experienced HR teams to the test. Use this time to help your HR teams be fully prepared… or at least as prepared as they can be!

And, of course… do consider engaging an external HR consultant to coach and mentor your HR teams through this very challenging time.

Ready, set…