How will the election affect SMEs?

29 April 2015

With the general election edging ever closer, it can be difficult to understand how each party’s policies will affect you as a business owner. This is why we have decided to concentrate on the three big Employment Law talking points so you can understand how they will affect you.

Zero Hour Contracts

The big talking point! The topic of zero hour contracts has really got the debate flowing, especially during the live televised debates, but how do the parties really differ?

Labour are looking to ban zero hour contracts completely, and to bring a new law in that will entitle an employee to a full time contract if they have worked regular hours over a 12 week period. They will also provide compensation to workers, if their shifts are cancelled at short notice.

The Conservatives on the other hand, will look to end the use of exclusive zero hour contracts, but they still feel zero hour contracts play an important role in getting people into work.

The Lib Dems and UKIP have offered no commitment to banning zero hour contracts, while the Green party feel they should be banned.

The Minimum Wage

People’s living standards have also caused a great deal of debate on the lead up to this election, with the minimum wage being a constant issue of discussion.

Labour has promised to increase the minimum wage to £8 by 2020, whilst the Conservatives have promised to raise the minimum wage to £7 an hour in the “near future”.

The Green party have promised the largest rise in the minimum wage to £10 an hour, whilst the Lib Dems and UKIP have agreed the minimum wage should increase, but they have not promised an exact amount.

The growth and development of SMEs

Job creation and business growth are always focal points for each parties manifestos.

Both Labour and the Conservatives are concentrating their efforts on increasing the number of apprenticeships in the UK. The Conservatives have pledged to support up to 3 million new apprenticeships, while Labour have pledged investment in “high quality” apprenticeships.

The Conservatives have focused most of their rhetoric on business owners. They have promised to give businesses the most competitive taxes of any major economy, and to back small firms with major business rate reviews. This in turn should create 2 million new jobs.

Labour on the other hand, have targeted their rhetoric on the employees. Stating that any 18-24 year old who has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than a year will be guaranteed a job. They have also promised any 18 to 24 year a job if they have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for over 2 years.

Overview

So as an SME owner which party do you believe will protect your interests? If you are unsure of anything Employment Law related from the minimum wage to shared parental leave, get in touch now!

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