Parties set out employment promises in their manifestos

Allowing employers to recruit agency staff as strikebreakers, reinstating post-study work visas for certain graduates… click for more
Parties set out employment promises in their election manifestos.

Wed, 15 Apr 2015

Allowing employers to recruit agency staff as strikebreakers, reinstating post-study work visas for certain graduates and more personalised support for people with mental health problems are just some of the manifesto promises from political parties ahead of next month’s general election.

Following on from the publication of Labour’s election manifesto on Monday, coalition partners the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, as well as the Green Party, have all released their manifestos. 

Among the Conservative Party’s manifesto promises is a commitment to repealing “nonsensical” restrictions banning employers from hiring agency staff to provide “essential cover” during strike action.

Their manifesto also commits to abolishing National Insurance contributions (NICs) for apprentices under the age of 25, as well as continuing to help smaller businesses recruit new workers through the Employment Allowance, which frees businesses from the first £2k of employers’ NICs.

Further help for smaller companies comes in the form a Tory Party commitment to raising the target for SMEs’ share of central government procurement to one-third, as well as strengthening the Prompt Payment Code and ensuring that all major government suppliers sign up to it.

But like Labour, the Conservatives’ commitment to careers advice for young people leaves recruiters out of the loop with the Tories pledging that Jobcentre Plus advisers will work with schools and colleges to supplement careers advice and help young people into work experience and apprenticeships. 

To make the UK an attractive place to study for overseas students particularly for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subject students, the Liberal Democrats in their manifesto say they would reinstate post-study work visas for STEM graduates who can find graduate-level employment within six months of completing their degree. 

The Party also commits to helping everyone on a low wage move up the career ladder and increase their hours with tailored in-work careers and job search advice. 

Other promises include creating a formal right for workers to request a fixed contract as well as consulting on introducing a right to make regular patterns of work contractual after a period of time. 

The Lib Dems also aim to double the number of businesses that hire apprentices by extending schemes to new sectors, like manufacturing, science and technology creative and digital industries.

The Party adds such placements should also be tailored to cater for the need of people with disabilities or mental health problems and those with parental responsibilities. 

Meanwhile, the Green Party also commits to considering more personalised job-seeking support for people with mental health problems.

The Party would also end work-for-benefits programmes, increase the national minimum wage and outlaw “exploitative” zero-hour contracts. 

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