A New Deal for Working People


The pandemic has bought into sharp focus the imbalance of power in the workplace that trade unions and the Labour Party have long sought to rectify. Wages have stagnated for over a decade, and work is becoming increasingly insecure.

Labour’s New Deal for Working People, launched by Angela Rayner at Conference 2021 and drawn up in partnership with Labour’s affiliated unions, is a comprehensive plan to improve the lives of working people by strengthening individual and collective rights. Keir Starmer has promised that a Labour Government will write this plan into law within 100 days of taking office.

Labour will strengthen rights at work for all workers, from day one on the job. They’ll create a single status of worker, so everyone is entitled to basic rights and protections like sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal. They’ll remove the qualifying period for basic rights at work – so everyone is protected from their first day on the job. They will strengthen workplace rights for those who are self-employed. 

Labour will end fire and rehire so workers can be safe in the knowledge that terms and conditions negotiated in good faith can’t be ripped up under threat of dismissal.  

Labour will make work more family-friendly, and make it easier to balance work with home, community and family life. They’ll extend statutory maternity and paternity leave, and review and improve the shared parental leave system. Labour will make flexible working a day one right for all workers by default. They’ll bring in a new ‘right to switch off’ outside of working hours, and they’re committed to achieving a better work-life balance while raising pay. 

Labour will ban zero-hours contracts and ensure everyone has the right to regular hours they can rely on. All workers will have the right to a regular contract and predictable hours, reasonable notice of any changes in shifts and wages for cancelled shifts paid in full.  

Labour will strengthen trade union rights, raising pay and conditions. We have seen during the pandemic the role that unions have played in protecting workers health and safety, fighting to secure pay and jobs, and reaching agreements that have kept our country moving. We know that unionised workplaces are more likely to provide decent pay, good training, and benefits, such as holiday and sick pay, above the statutory minimum. That’s why Labour will strengthen trade unions by repealing anti-trade union laws, including the Trade Union Act, and introducing new rights to help unions recruit, organise and win a better deal for their members. 

Labour will bring in Fair Pay Agreements to drive up pay and conditions for all workers, using sectoral collective bargaining. Beginning in social care, they will reverse the decades-long decline in collective bargaining coverage by introducing Fair Pay Agreements, negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining, to agree minimum standards across industries on issues including pay and pensions, working time and holidays, training, work organisation, diversity and inclusion, health and safety and the deployment of new technologies. Labour will also safeguard existing collective bargaining arrangements. 

Trade unions were founded in the heat of the industrial revolution to fight for working people, and unions are winning for working people across the UK every single day. But we also need a Government that will deliver for workers too – enshrining the rights that individual workers should be able to rely on, giving unions new rights to help them organise and win for their members, and putting power back into the hands of working people.

Working people need better rights, stronger unions and a Labour Government to win the new deal at work they deserve.

Download the New Deal for Working people document in full.

Go back to the New Deal campaign page