Rayner reiterates Labour’s commitment to a New Deal for Working People

Labour's Deputy leader says a new Labour Government will introduce draft legislation within 100 days of an election victory

5 Feb 2024| News

Under Labour’s proposed New Deal for Working People, the party has pledged to increase protections for workers by banning zero-hours contracts, ending fire and rehire, and scrapping qualifying periods for basic rights. The Labour Party has also pledged to introduce a single status of “worker” to tackle bogus self-employment in the gig economy.

Much of the New Deal came out of the 2017 and 2019 party manifestos and resultant green paper developed by Andy McDonald MP, with the help of IER experts Lord John Hendy KC and Professor Keith Ewing.

However, critics have suggested that the Labour leadership have quietly backed down on many of the commitments contained in the policy paper, whilst courting the business community.

However, speaking to Sky’s Beth Rigby, Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said Labour was sticking to its plans on workers’ rights.

“It’s security at work more than anything. Fundamentally it’s rights from day one, it’s ending fire and rehire, and it’s giving people guaranteed hours and making sure that people have that level of security so they can plan for their life.

Because you can’t get a mortgage, you can’t plan what your budgeting is going to be, if you haven’t got secure work. So it’s a fundamental pillar of how people can have better standards of living in the country.

We will bring in the single status of worker. We will end this bogus self-employment. That is our mission as part of the new deal. That’s what we’re setting out and we will do that in conjunction and consultation through the process to ensure that we actually mean what we say and say what we mean.

Because sometimes if you act in haste, you can create more chaos and we’re not going to do that. So we’re already in the engagement on that. Employers understand what we want to achieve. The workers understand what we’re trying to achieve, and we’re already working and there’s already case law. And these issues are already being tackled in the economy.”

Rayner also argued that Labour’s New Deal for Working People would be good for business – and involve no cost to businesses – as a result of savings realised under the plan, such as fewer vacancies, reduced staff sickness and increased productivity. She said:

“This is good for business and it’s good for workers. But we also understand that there is transition. We said that we’ll put the bill before parliament in the first hundred days. We’re committed to that.

We’re doing a huge amount of work with businesses now to bring them on board so they understand that some businesses have to travel more distance than others. But we’re very clear that we will work with them. We will consult on things like the single category of worker so that we make sure that we bring business with us.

But we’re unequivocal and we know the benefits that this produces because the businesses that do it now are very clear that it does help their business and it does help productivity.”

You can watch the full interview here.