‘Unleashing Britain’s potential’ – what do the election results mean for HR?

By Anthony Wolny | 16th December 2019 | 8 min read

Following last week's election results, our thoughts turn to how the Tory win is likely to affect the HR industry.

After capturing the public’s attention by campaigning to ‘Unleash Britain’s Potential’, the new Government now has the big job of putting its words into action.

And with so much of the manifesto relating to employment, the HR industry needs to pay close attention to how the party’s actions will affect the world of work.   

So, here’s our quickfire run-down of the five campaign pledges that will matter most to HR professionals:

  1. Improved income – the Tories pledge to halt National Insurance, VAT and income tax rises, as well as raising national living wage, and this will be greatly welcomed by employees across the country. For many, this could lead to a greater interest in saving schemes by salary sacrifice, an increase to pension contributions, and even an improved work/life balance contributing to mentally healthier and more engaged teams. For HR teams, it will be more important than ever to have a financial wellbeing programme that helps employees to make the most of their improved take home pay.

2. Plentiful pensions – similarly, workers will also be pleased by the pledge to keep the ‘triple lock’ pension guarantee that will see pensions rising each year by at least 2.5%. Great news for employees, but this pledge is likely to add pressure to the already stretched budgets of small businesses. With greater attention placed on pensions, having information readily available for employees to access themselves will ease the load on busy HR departments.

3. Encouraging entrepreneurs – similarly, the Tories want Britain to be a ‘nation of start ups’ and the best country in the world to start and grow a business. They believe that small and family sized business are the backbone of the British economyand plan to upgrade infrastructure to make it easier for small businesses to operate. They’ll also improve access to finance for the self-employed, reviewing IR35, making the tax system easier to navigate, and examining how better broadband can boost homeworking. However, SMEs becoming the new favoured place to work could be problematic for employee retention in larger business. A strong employee experience strategy that includes clear career progression, competitive benefits and a fair work/life balance will be key.

4. Skills and opportunities – an investment in a new £3 billion National Skills Fund aims to help businesses find the workers that they need. The fund also aims to improve the lives of people who lack qualifications, as well as people who are keen to switch career or return to work after raising a family. At best, this will give businesses a wider selection of applicants when recruiting and encourage more workers to move vertically across businesses to try out new roles. But at worst, the fund could result in a bigger turnover with employees upskilling and leaving for new opportunities. Employer value proposition will be especially important in organisations concerned about employee retention.

5. Family friendly – in a multi-billion pound promise, the Tories are aiming to create 250,000 extra childcare places for children at primary schools during the holidays – helping to ease the pressure on employees with children. This should have a positive effect on work/life balance and employee wellbeing, which will be welcomed by HR professionals.

Get ready for the new government

With so much change on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that HR professionals have their finger on pulse of how the changing political landscape is affecting working life.

Here at Cascade HR, as well as offering solutions that help you stay compliant with changes to HR and Payroll legislation, our sophisticated technology is also well placed to help you engage with your employees, increasing retention and supporting employee wellbeing.

Contact our expert team to find out how we can help you respond.