Labour pledges tax breaks for Living Wage employers

As we know this year is election year and all the parties are stepping up and tackling certain issues and topics.

One hot topic is peoples pay and in particular the urge for the Living Wage and below is a summary of what Labours thoughts and plans are should they be elected in to power

Businesses will be given tax breaks for paying the Living Wage while exploitative elements of zero hours contracts will be outlawed under a Labour government.

Remuneration committees will also be compelled to include an "everyday employee" to ensure that executive pay is connected to performance.

The plans will be revealed today by Labour leader Ed Miliband as part of the party's manifesto for business in a speech at Jaguar Land Rover.

Labour would seek to ban exclusivity clauses and employers requiring workers to be available at any time.

It would also give employees the right to demand a fixed term contract after a period of regular work and compensation should a shift be cancelled at short notice.

The coalition has previously consulted on controlling zero hours contract conditions, but Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna criticised those plans for not going far enough.

Last year it was revealed that the number of zero hours contracts had trebled since 2010.

A Labour spokeswoman said "Labour is committed to ensuring that all workers are properly protected in the workplace.

"Exploitative zero-hours contracts will be abolished, with rules introduced to give new rights to employees on zero-hour contracts, including the right to demand a fixed hours contract when they have consistently worked regular hours with the same employer. We will ban employers from being able to require zero-hours workers to be available on the off-chance that they will be needed, and stop employees from being required to work exclusively for one firm if they are on a zero-hours contract.

"Labour will also ensure that zero-hours workers who have their shifts cancelled at short notice will receive compensation from their employer. This underlines Labour's commitment to improve living standards and help businesses build a more productive, successful economy across the UK."

In presenting the 79-page document, Miliband is expected to make a promise to help businesses plan for the long term: "Our plan will help us overcome the short-termism of government and the pressures on business to take the short-term view.

"We will make sure businesses have the infrastructure we need to succeed with an independent National Infrastructure Commission to stop long-term decisions being delayed and delayed. We will reform the rules on takeovers so that long-term investors have a louder voice and ensure executive pay is connected to performance by putting an everyday employee on the remuneration committees of firms.

"And, perhaps most important of all, we will give all British businesses the security of knowing we will always be looking outward to the world. Under a Labour government, Britain will be a strong and proud member of a reformed European Union," he will add.

The other key plans expected to be part of the manifesto include:

Industry led bodies to raise productivity, like we have now in the car industry,

Raising the National Minimum Wage closer to average earnings - £8 an hour by 2020,

Make it illegal to undercut by exploiting migrant workers.

The party said it would also back big employing sectors such as retail and social care by tackling undercutting, with firms coming together to raise productivity and standards.

Posted: Wed 10 Feb 2016
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