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Legal changes

Election results: The impact on the manufacturing sector with a focus on health & safety

As the political landscape shifts, the manufacturing sector remains poised to experience significant changes.

Through the “Plan to Make Work Pay” policy, the new Labour government has committed itself to introducing wide-ranging changes to workers’ rights. In addition to banning zero hours contracts and extending employment law protections for staff, Labour has signposted a move towards a single status of “worker”, comprising “employed” and “self-employed”. An immediate consequence of this could mean that manufacturing sector employers’ duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 are owed to a greater number of workers.

Labour also commits to reviewing and modernising health and safety legislation and guidance so that it is fit for the modern workplace. However, it is unclear exactly why Labour believes that current legislation falls short of the mark and further detail is anticipated.

Of particular significance is Labour’s assertion that it will establish and properly fund a Single Enforcement Body which will be given extensive powers to inspect workplaces and bring prosecutions and civil proceedings on behalf of workers. Labour also states it will make sure there are enough inspectors to undertake unannounced inspections and follow up on anonymous reports. Again, further detail on this point will be required before an impact assessment can be made.

For further support on any relating aspects, please contact our expert Manufacturing solicitors.

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