In his latest episode of the Oven-Ready HR podcast, Chris Taylor speaks to Labour MP Justin Madders.
There are so many big employment and workplace stories at the moment. From chaos at UK airports due to staff shortages and the raging work from home debate, to planned strikes on the rail network and the fallout from ‘partygate’ at 10 Downing Street. Added to that, this week’s narrowly won vote of no confidence in the UK prime minister Boris Johnson all adds to a sense of upheaval and uncertainty – hardly a welcome backdrop for organisations.
The political uncertainty is a timely prompt to start looking at what the world of work would be like under a Labour administration. Justin Madders MP is Labour’s shadow minister for employment rights and protections. Justin is a former solicitor who specialised in employment law before being elected as the member of parliament for Ellesmere Port and Neston in 2015.
I start by asking the shadow minister his view on the impending National Rail strike.
Who’s to blame for the chaos at UK airports? [02:30]
Justin believes it’s very convenient for the UK government to blame airlines and other travel providers for the chaos at UK airports. He believes government support was lifted far too quickly before the sector was back on its feet.
Is Boris Johnson’s unpopularity a gift to Labour? [04:10]
Justin accepts that whilst Boris Johnson’s unpopularity is a gift for any opposition party, the national interest will be affected by paralysis and in-fighting amongst Conservative MPs, therefore he says the sooner the prime minister is removed the better.
What would the Downing St culture be like under Sir Keir Starmer? [05:39]
‘Partygate’ has highlighted the dysfunctional culture at the heart of government. I ask Justin what sort of workplace culture Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer would instigate if he were the prime minister?
What are the key elements of Labour’s future of work plan? [06:39]
Justin explains the key pillars than underpin Labour’s future of work plan. The plan is designed end the precarious nature of employment that many workers face and provide well-paid jobs and a level-playing field for all employers.
What’s happened to Lord Hendy’s Status of Workers bill? [08:35]
Justin explains why he isn’t confident that the bovernment will support Lord Hendy’s bill.
Do we need more collective bargaining in the UK? [11.57]
Yes is the simple answer, and in Labour’s plan there is a desire to move towards more sectorial collective bargaining/fair pay agreements.
What’s happening with the P&O dismissals? [15:40]
Justin is keen that the government maintains pressure on P&O Ferries in light of its sacking of hundreds of workers without consultation and notice.
The working from home debate [20:13]
I ask Justin for his view on the working from home debate. Is WFH just a blip?