Cameron’s new cabinet.

12 May 2015 The first all-Tory cabinet in 18 years has been selected and assembled, with cutting benefits being named as their top priority.

13 May 2015| News

12 May 2015

The first all-Tory cabinet in 18 years has been selected and assembled, with cutting benefits being named as their top priority.

Sajid Javid replaces Vince Cable as business secretary and Priti Patel becomes minister for employment after Esther McVey lost her Wirral seat.

Before embarking on his political career Sajid Javid was an investment banker with a reported annual income of £3m, which should clear up any doubt over whose interests he will represent. Priti Patel thinks British workers are “lazy” has previously called for the reintroduction of capital punishment.

Ian Duncan Smith remains work and pensions secretary. He will assume responsibility for the promised £12bn welfare cuts, adding to his existing legacy of the bedroom tax, the benefits cap, enforced labour, and the decimation of support for disabled people, among countless other “achievements”.

In unprecedentedly post-ironic appointments the cabinet now includes an equalities minister, Caroline Dineage, who alongside her colleague Nicky Morgan is against equal marriage, and a justice minister, Dominic Raab, who believes feminists are “obnoxious bigots”. Raab said; “While we have some of the toughest anti-discrimination laws in the world, we are blind to some of the most flagrant discrimination – against men”, a quote so laughable it needs no commentary.

Gove remains justice secretary and will oversee the withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights, making us one of only three EU countries, the others being Belarus and Kazakstan, not signed up to it. As the IER has previously reported, the move will have dire consequences for working rights, as well as being regressive in general.

Other plans laid out by the assembled include the abolition of statutory maternity pay, the renaming of zero hours contracts to the euphemistic and erroneous “flexible hours contracts”, strike laws that will make legal strike action near impossible, and a snoopers charter and protesting laws to choke and repress mounting opposition to the government and its austerity agenda. Now that pandering to pre-election public opinion is no longer a priority, it will surely not be long before the water cannons emerge from Boris Johnson’s cupboards.

Two upcoming IER conferences will analyse what the Tory’s policies will mean for Employment Rights.

Human Rights: Possibilities and Problems for Labour Law

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Diskus Room, Unite the Union, London

What will withdrawal from the ECHR mean for employment rights and worker protections? This conference aims to shed light on the issues by focusing on the kind of workplace abuses that the Convention aims to protect us against.

Workplace Issues: Taking up the issues with the new government

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Diskus Room, Unite the Union, London

This event will be the first IER conference to take place after the general election, providing an excellent opportunity to assess the Conservative government’s programme of work. How will worker’s rights fair under a new regime? Which labour law topics will trade unionists need to be aware of in order to best protect their members at work?