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Tories promise more workers’ rights and minimum wage hike

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Theresa May has promised the “greatest extension of rights and protections for employees by any Conservative government in history” if her party wins the General Election.

The Tory manifesto, set to be published later this week, will contain new rights for workers who need to take time off to care for a family member, and for bereaved parents.

It will also include a commitment to increase the national living wage – currently £7.50 an hour – in line with median earnings until 2022.

And it will include measures to ensure employees have a greater stake in their companies.

Writing in the Financial Times today, May said: “I will ensure that there is representation for workers on company boards and that every employee has a statutory right to receive information about key decisions affecting their company’s future.

“This will be no more than the information that shareholders currently receive — but we will extend to those who invest their labour the same information available to those who invest their capital.”

The Conservatives have also promised to protect peoples’ pensions “against irresponsible behaviour by company bosses” if they retain power on 8 June.

A Conservative government will give the Pensions Regulator the power to “scrutinise takeovers and unsustainable dividend payments” that threaten the solvency of a company pension scheme.

The move aims to avoid a repeat of the collapse of retailer BHS’s pension scheme last year.

The Conservatives said: “Under our plans, any company pursuing a merger or acquisition valued over a certain amount or with over a certain number of members in the pension scheme would have to notify the Pensions Regulator, who could then apply certain conditions.

“In cases where there is no credible plan in place and no willingness to ensure the solvency of the scheme, the Pensions Regulator could be given new powers to block a takeover. This would include the power to issue punitive fines for those found to have willfully left a scheme under-resourced.”