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What does HR want from the next election?

The next General Election is not scheduled but must be held by 28 January 2025

A general election is expected to be called in the second half of 2024.

We asked HR experts which changes they would like to see from a new government, in employment law, regulation and funding.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, called for a new strategy to improve productivity and living standards:

“The CIPD is calling for a broader vision for economic growth articulated in a new industrial strategy that sets out the policies needed to boost productivity and living standards across the economy. 

“We absolutely need to support research and development investment and high-tech, exporting and green energy businesses and sectors, but we also need a clear plan to raise productivity and living standards in ‘everyday economy’ sectors like retail, hospitality, transport, logistics and social care. 

“This will require new investment and thinking across a range of policy areas.” 

Read more: Labour's zero-hours contract pledge divides experts

David Deacon, chief people officer at payroll service Activpayroll, said the government must support business growth and skills investment:

"We would like a future government to be pro-business and pro-growth. We need a political environment that encourages and enables business ambition, that supports global growth and endorses entrepreneurial risk-taking. 

“It would be great to see some targeted investment in skills development, especially tech. There are big talent pools across the UK, and investment here would help all employers get access to skills and increase the opportunities available to their workforces. 

“Given the incredible level of opportunities for remote and flexible working, there should be no barriers to people across the UK getting chances to build future prosperity for themselves, and for the UK employer."


Perry Timms, CEO of HR consultancy PTHR, said the next government should encourage investment in progressive and fair business practices:

“Whatever the result of the election, after years of turbulence and shifting norms, I would welcome a swiftly constructed, inclusively crafted skills and industrial strategy for the UK. 

“We've had polarising political stances for far too long, and we need unifying, uniting approaches to help businesses to fully invest in their talent, progressive workforce development strategies, and green, science, technology and creative economies.

“We need a strategy built around 'good work' principles, progressive education, stable public services, positive activism and enabling policies.”


Simon Jones, director of people management consultancy, Ariadne Associates, said he would like to see more funding for employment law enforcement: 

"Employment laws have not been a priority for the current government and that means that businesses have had a stable eight or nine years in respect of significant legislation changes. 

“One thing that does need fixing however is around public spending, specifically the underfunding for the courts and tribunal system. It can't be right that employment claims can take up to two years to be heard. That's no good for the individuals but also means that businesses have claims hanging over them for ridiculous lengths of time.

“Changing employment rights or giving additional protections are no use if people cannot enforce them. 

“Equally, it allows some businesses to avoid their responsibilities to the detriment of the majority of employers who want to treat people fairly. I'd sooner see this addressed than attention-grabbing changes to employment law."

Read more: CIPD pensions charter calls for major reform