Labour’s workers’ rights policy has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’

Labor is facing a union backlash after rebranding its flagship workers’ rights package.

The boss of the UK’s biggest union said that the latest iteration of plans originally devised by Angela Rayner had “more holes in it than Swiss cheese”.

On Friday, Labor rebranded its workers’ rights package to give it a more voter friendly name and calm the nerves of business.

The plan, which was previously called the New Deal for Working People, has been renamed Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay.

Without fanfare, the party published a new document online, which contained final versions of their plans.

It confirms previous U-turns on the package, such as dropping a complete ban on zero hour contracts in favor of a ban on “exploitative zero hour contracts”.

Labor will “consult fully with businesses, workers and civil society on how to put our plans into practice before legislation is passed,” according to the document.

‘Party must stick to its guns’

It received a rough reception from Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, who said: “The newly revised New Deal for Working People has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. The number of caveats and get outs means it is in danger of becoming a bad bosses’ charter.

“Working people expect Labor to be their voice. They need to know that Labor will not back down to corporate profiteers determined to maintain the status quo of colossal profits at the expense of everyone else.

“The country desperately needs a Labor government, but the party must show it will stick to its guns on improving workers’ rights.”

Sir Keir Starmer has been in negotiations with the trade unions for weeks over the proposals, which were first published by the deputy Labor leader in 2022.

Businesses had raised concerns that the package could harm Britain’s competitiveness, prompting fears from the unions that Sir Keir would water down the policies.

The new document confirms a number of commitments, including “ending fire and rehire” and repeating trade union restrictions introduced by the Conservatives since 2016.

It also confirms that workers will get “day one” employment rights, “ending the current arbitrary system that leaves workers waiting up to two years to access basic rights of protection against unfair dismissal, parental leave and sick pay.”