Would the Labour Party’s employment reforms work?

On 10 September, the Labour Party put forward plans to create a Ministry for Employment Rights and a Workers’ Protection Agency to enforce those rights.

The proposals which, obviously, would only see if the light of day if Labour won a General Election, whenever such an election may occur, are ambitious and, naturally, rather scant on detail at the moment. But, despite this, let’s have a look at a few of their proposals for changes to employment law to see if they are realistic and workable!

Sacked for using a plastic cup?!


Intelligent Hand Dryers, a Company based in Sheffield specialising in, well, Hand Dryers, has recently introduced a ban on its employees using single use plastic including plastic water bottles, sandwich wrappers with plastic ‘windows’, and disposable coffee cups with plastic linings, in order to reduce its environmental impact.

The owner of the Company, Andrew Cameron, has made the above a disciplinary offence and stated that if employees receive three warnings and continue to ignore this policy, they could be dismissed.  The environmental benefits, if more businesses were to impose such policies, are obvious however is it fair to effectively make this a condition of employment?  Surely the choice of an employee to buy a sandwich from a well-known supermarket at lunch time does not hinder their ability to perform their role?