We are in the middle of a post-election crisis with many questions marks on how our next Government plans to deliver on the promises they made to voters during the general election. Here Kelly-Anne Byres reminds us what the Conservatives were proposing in relation to employment.
The party manifestos gave us a pretty good picture of what the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats had in store for employees and employers.
And, as Theresa May attempts to get her plan for government in order, we thought it prudent to remind ourselves of what Conservative pledges were made - and how they could affect us.
In December 2014, it was reported that the Conservatives were considering increasing the maternity allowance that can be claimed by self-employed mothers.
It will be interesting to see if the new Government still plan to implement this - after all, there was no mention of it in their manifesto.
The Conservative Party supports the National Minimum Wage and wants to see further increases.
They accept the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission that the National Minimum Wage should rise this autumn, on course for a minimum wage of over £8 by the end of the decade.
The gender pay gap
The Conservative Party aims to “remove barriers that stop women and disabled people from participating in our workforce”. To do this they plan pushing more businesses to close the gender pay gap and forcing the larger ones to publish the average pay of their male and female employees.
They also want to introduce the right to request unpaid time off for training for all employees, a right to unpaid time off to care for sick relatives, child bereavement leave, and new support for those returning to work after family leave.
Conservatives have promised to “end taxpayer-funded six-figure payoffs for the best paid public sector workers". No further detail was given in the manifesto on how they will achieve this.
Making Tax Digital
The election result throws a huge cloud over HMRC's Making Tax Digital programme.
Until a new government is appointed, little time will be available for ministers to devote to MTD detail in the Finance Bill.
The only realistic scenario for the original timetable is if Theresa May opts for a continuity strategy and retains her previous team - including Chancellor Philip Hammond. Anyone else would have to get their head around the policy in a very short time.
My guess? MTD is likely to be left until the Autumn Budget/next year's Finance Bill.
What about Brexit?
Instead of the promised "strong and stable" government, the political situation has been plunged into uncertainty with just a few weeks to go before negotiations are due to begin on the UK's exit from the European community.
We have little time to take stock...
Brexit talks can only be extended with the unanimous consent of all 27 EU countries.
And several, such as France, have made it clear there will be no extra time, because they want the UK out before European elections due in mid-2019.
EU officials however, have cast doubt on the June 19 start date for negotiations, and do not expect substantial discussions to begin until the government in London is more secure.
If you want to discuss your accountancy needs or find out how changes post-election will affect your employees or business, call us today.