One of the main business-related issues in Labour’s manifesto for the general election, released Monday, is a pledge to double paternity leave to four paid weeks a year.
Releasing the manifesto at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham this morning, Gordon Brown dismissed the Conservative Party’s claims of offering genuine change. “The future will be progressive or conservative,” he said, “but it will not be both.”
The manifesto also pledges to create a UK Finance for Growth fund to provide £4bn worth of capital for growing businesses across all investing in the growth sectors.
The 1p rise in National Insurance employers’ contributions – a much maligned policy which is the subject of a joint petition from a multitude of trade organisations – was reasserted but the income tax bands would not be changed over the next five years except for the new 50 per cent rate on earnings over £150,000.
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said businesses may suffer through manifestos which attempt to appeal to voters through ‘family-friendly’ promises.
“All of the Parties now seem to be engaged in a race to the top on family-friendly and flexible working policies,” said EEF head of employment policy, David Yeandle. “While many employers recognise the business benefits of such policies, the cost and administrative burden of managing them can be significant. What we really need is a wider debate about how society overall addresses work/life balance issues rather than just leaving it to employers to facilitate and support.”
You can download a pdf copy of the Labour manifesto at the following link > http://www2.labour.org.uk/uploads/TheLabourPartyManifesto-2010.pdf