The Coalition government 2010-2015

Since they took power in May 2010, the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government has consistently undermined the employment rights of UK workers. Explore our interactive timeline to find out how.

2010-05-12 00:00:00

Coalition Formed

Nick Clegg leads the Liberal Democrat party into a coalition with the Conservatives.

2010-06-02 17:18:51

Cable announces deregulation plans

Business Secretary Vince Cable announces: - Creation of a "Star Chamber" to oversee the undermining of regulation, including the review of all regulation in the pipeline to be implemented.

2010-06-14 17:18:51

Lord Young asked to review Health and Safety Laws

Lord Young, former secretary of Margaret Thatcher's government, is appointed Adviser to the Prime Minister on health and safety law and practice and asked to review health and safety law. The IER later releases a briefing condemning this action and Cable's deregulation plans.

2010-06-21 17:18:51

LPC told to keep pay low

Employment Relations Minister Edward Davey urges the Low Pay Commission to keep wages down in order to maintain the "competitiveness" of small businesses.

2010-06-22 14:59:48

Emergency Budget sets out coming attack on workers

In his Emergency Budget, Chancellor George Osborne lays out a series of plans that work in the interests of the employer, and against the employee.

2010-07-22 00:00:00

Govt sacks thousands in regional closures

Closures to Governmnet Offices and Regional Development Agencies are announced, leading thousands of staff to lose their jobs.

2010-08-11 17:18:51

Consultation launched into brand new 'time to train' rights

New regulations are attacked immediately, with Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister John Hayes announcing the launch of consultation into the right to request time to train legislation, just months after it came into effect.

2010-09-01 17:18:51

One-in one-out rule comes into effect

One-in one-out rule on regulations that have a direct cost to businesses and organisations comes into effect on all rules proposed from January 2011. Every time such a regulation is brought in, a modification or abandonment of other rules totalling an equivalent cost must be made.

2010-10-01 00:00:00

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 comes in, but will be undermined by the coalition in the years ahead and the act is a disappointment to campaigners.

2010-10-01 20:45:55

Review into police pay and conditions launched

The Home Office launches a review into police pay and conditions led by lawyer Tom Windsor.

2010-10-15 03:09:04

Lord Young's Report Puts Profit Over Safety

Lord Young's Report Common Sense, Common Safety, is published. He recommends deregulation, fewer inspections and an attack on legal help for injured workers.

2010-10-20 05:18:39

Spending Review attacks public sector workers

George Osborne confirms that up to half a million public sector jobs could be axed over four years, in a move unions describe as ideological.

2010-10-22 00:00:00

Tories play dirty to block trade union rights bill

Tory MPs are accused of bringing parliament into disrepute, as they waste parliament's time in a bid to block John McDonnell’s Lawful Industrial Action (Minor Errors) Bill, which aimed to simplify procedures around industrial action ballots.

2010-11-17 00:00:00

Theresa May scraps Equality Law

Home Secretary Theresa May scraps the socioeconomic duty from Labour's Equality Act 2010, calling it "ridiculous". The law was designed to force public bodies to reduce inequality by addressing problems caused by class barriers.

2010-11-29 03:09:04

Growth Review puts Employment Law at Risk

The government launches its Growth Review, announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, promising to "remove barriers" to "competitiveness" for businesses. Later developments will make it clear that workers rights are considered obstacles to be torn down.

2010-12-06 17:18:51

Govt lobbies against extended paid maternity leave

The coalition joined seven other EU countries in opposing the Pregnant Workers Directive, an extension of paid maternity leave to 20 weeks. This comes after reports that business owners were lobbying against the policy.

2010-12-13 17:34:37

Employment Law Compliance Review Launched

The government launches an Employment Law Compliance Review that includes as its aims reducing enforcement techniques such as inspection to 'reduce burden on business' - once again, the coalition put firms ahead of workers.

2010-12-15 17:18:51

Govt to accept bare minimum of EU law

Vince Cable announces new measures which will see the end of 'gold-plating' EU law in favour of a 'copy-out' approach that will see the UK take on the bare minimum of new EU legislation.

2010-12-22 00:00:00

Public sector redundancy benefits lowered

The Superannuation Act 2010 cuts redundancy benefits for civil servants, making the thousands of planned redundancies in the public sector cheaper for the government.

2011-01-12 10:24:07

PM says the case is "strong" for anti-strike laws

Cameron says he will be "happy" to look at arguments for stronger anti-strike laws.

2011-01-13 17:18:51

Govt announces scrappage of DRA

Govt confirms it will scrap the default retirement age between April 6th and October 1st 2011, forcing women to wait longer for their state pensions. Campaigners argue the policy will not bring equality to older workers unless they are in a position to choose to continue working, or to choose to retire. Those performing manual labour may not be able to continue after 65, but do not have enough income to retire.

2011-01-17 23:27:40

Plans to Boost Parental Leave Announced

Government warned to make sure they are not taking with one hand while giving with the other, as they finally put in place one piece of legislation that may help workers.

2011-01-23 07:49:21

Govt says it will use obscure laws to stand in the way of trade unions

Transport Minister Philip Hammond announced he will use obscure laws from 1839 to obstruct a possible strike by fuel tanker drivers.

2011-01-24 02:32:15

Unfair bosses boosted by Employer's Charter

The Employer's Charter is launched by Vince Cable, providing businesses with an explanation of what they can and cannot do when managing staff. IER President Keith Ewing writes in the Guardian that the publication incites bosses to take advantage of vulnerable employees.

2011-01-27 17:18:51

Consultation on Resolving Workplace Disputes

Coalition takes first step towards undermining employment rights for people who need to take legal action against their employer with a consultation on resolving workplace disputes with proposals designed to make it harder to make a claim.

2011-02-04 05:31:19

Plot to get rid of workers' day

Govt considers getting rid of May Day - traditionally known as Workers Day - and replace it with a 'UK day' later in the year.

2011-02-08 12:24:59

EHRC "irrevocably damaged" by cuts

Staff at the Equality and Human Rights Commission warn that 60% funding cuts will lead to "lightning strike" inspections and severely limit their ability to do their jobs. In an open letter to the head of the Commission they said: "Given the severity of these cuts, which have no comparison in the public sector, we can only conclude that the government is effectively seeking to close the body entrusted by parliament to protect and promote equality and human rights in the UK."

2011-02-16 12:24:59

Time to Train Regulations Delayed for SMEs

The government announces that SMEs will be exempt from the forthcoming Time to Train Regulations.

2011-02-17 12:24:59

Weakest workers attacked in sickness absence review

The government attacks what Cameron calls "sicknote culture" by launching a review into sickness absence.

2011-03-08 06:34:07

Cuts cripple HSE

The HSE consider cutting unannounced inspections on workplace by a third as cuts to the organisation's funding leave it struggling to cover costs.

2011-03-10 15:17:19

Public sector workers to get less for more

Lord Hutton recommends that public sector workers should be switched to a new pension plan that would see them work for longer for less of a payout.

2011-03-13 20:44:34

Osborne plans to undermine parental rights

A leak shows George Osborne plans to water down paternity rights soon after they have been announced.

2011-03-18 05:21:25

Govt "bins" legislation in Growth Review

Details of the government's 'Growth Review' are released, including early plans for the Red Tape Challenge, a three-year moratorium on new domestic regulation for microbusinesses and limits to employment rights including flexible working for parents, time for training and the dual discrimination provision in the Equality Act.

2011-03-21 06:34:07

Worker safety put at threat by review

The government releases its health and safety review Good Health and Safety, Good For Everyone, which appears to be good for no-one except lawless employers. Many companies are assured they will never meet an inspector under the new proposals, which will see legislation slashed and HSE inspections reduced.

2011-04-07 05:21:25

Red Tape Challenge Launched

The govt wield their axe at health and safety laws, employment laws and even the Equality Act in a public audit called the Red Tape Challenge, which invariably puts the wants of business above the needs of staff

2011-04-26 13:37:12

Raab calls for anti-strike laws

Tory backbencher Dominic Raab says more people should be needed to sign a ballot before unions are allowed to strike.

2011-05-11 00:00:00

Govt plans to relax redundancy/TUPE rules

The govt says employment law must change to support private sector employers, proposing a relaxation in Transfer Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE).

2011-06-06 00:38:58

Cable threatens anti-union action

Vince Cable told delegates at the GMB Conference the pressure on the government to impose anti-union laws would be ratcheted up by widespread strikes.

2011-06-16 17:45:55

Tory MP attempts to undermine national minimum wage

UCATT accuses Tory MP Tory MP Christopher Chope of attempting to undermine NMW with his Employment Opportunities Bill.

2011-06-17 17:45:55

Disabled people should be paid less, says Tory MP

Tory MP Philip Davies suggested disabled people should be exempt from national minimum wage seeing as they are 'less productive'.

2011-06-17 20:44:34

Coalition lobbies against Pregnant Workers' Directive

The govt announces it will lobby against EU plans to extend maternity leave to 20 weeks on full pay.

2011-07-05 00:00:00

Govt procurement leads to threats of job losses

Bombardier announces a 90-day consultation on job losses after the govt gives a public sector contract to Siemens.

2011-07-10 00:00:00

Tories plan anti-trade union laws condemned by ILO

Tory anti-trade union plans are similar to those already condemned in Bulgaria by the ILO.

2011-07-31 17:45:55

Tory councillors try to sabotage union action

Conservative party councillors in Leeds try to persuade the local authority to stop paying union convenors' wages.

2011-09-09 11:23:49

Maude attacks civil service facility time

Francis Maude tells the Telegraph he plans to reduce facility time for trade unionists in the civil service

2011-10-01 00:00:00

Agency Workers' Directive Comes In

The Agency Workers' Directive is introduced, despite attempts by the government to water it down.

2011-10-03 11:23:49

Workers come under attack at Conservative Party Conference

Vince Cable admits "we have one of the most flexible labour markets in the world" but suggests workers should lose more rights, including increasing the qualifying period from one year to two for employees claiming unfair dismissal. Meanwhile, George Osborne tells delegates he will crack down on “vexatious” tribunal claims by introducing fees for claimants at employment tribunals.

2011-10-24 13:58:24

Eurosceptic backbenchers threaten workers' rights

Tory backbenchers put pressure on Cameron to take power back from the EU, legislation from which is responsible for some of our most basic workers' rights like holiday pay and maternity leave.

2011-10-26 11:23:49

Govt axes Agricultural Wages Board

Despite a campaign by Unite, Labour ministers and farm workers, MPs voted to ditch the Agricultural Wages Board, threatening workers' pay and conditions.

2011-11-21 12:24:59

Sick workers attacked by Health at Work review

Dame Carol Black and David Frost - former head of the British Chambers of Commerce - suggest that independent assessors decide whether a worker is permitted time off sick, rather than their GP, and that those newly off work due to illness must go on to Jobseeker's Allowance for three months before applying for Employment Support Allowance. This means ill people will be expected to prove they are looking for work during their first three months out of employment.

The Coalition government 2010-2015

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