Labour will deliver new deal for workers, Starmer tells TUC Congress 2021

Elliot Chappell
© Ilyas Tayfun Salci/

Keir Starmer will use a keynote speech at TUC Congress 2021 to declare that a future Labour government would deliver a new deal for workers to ensure that “workers are paid properly, not taxed unfairly”.

Addressing the annual gathering of the trade union confederation on Tuesday, the Labour leader will announce that in government his party would enforce full rights and protections for all workers from their first day in a job.

Criticising the Tory plan to increase National Insurance, Starmer is expected to say: “Under the Conservatives’ unfair plans, working families across the country don’t get a pay rise but will get a tax rise.

“Ensuring good quality secure work, underpinned with employment rights fit for the reality of modern working, is not only good for employees, but it’s good for business, and is part of getting our economy firing on all cylinders.

“Too many people in Britain spend their lives worrying about how many hours they’ll be given next week, what will happen if they need to attend a medical appointment, or how they’ll pay the bills if they fall ill. Labour will give all working families the job security and pay security they not only need, but deserve.”

His speech follows Labour’s summer “new deal for working people” campaign, in which Starmer and Angela Rayner pledged to “fundamentally change our economy” and “make Britain the best place to work”. The party has committed to:

  • “A minimum wage of at least £10 per hour;
  • “Rights for all workers from their first day on the job, including holiday pay, parental leave, and protection from unfair dismissal;
  • “The right to work flexibly and request shifts that fit around family life;
  • “A ban on fire and rehire; and
  • “An end to zero-hours contracts.”

The TUC’s Frances O’Grady said: “Banning zero-hours contracts and delivering decent sick pay for everyone would make a real difference to millions of workers. The pandemic exposed the terrible working conditions that many in our labour market face – including our dedicated key workers.

“Everyone who works in Britain deserves to be treated with dignity. Labour have set out concrete plans to make working people better off. It’s a big contrast to this government’s record over the last 11 years.”

Starmer wrote exclusively for LabourList in July to explain why the party was launching its campaign for a new deal for workers, and to set out how the party’s new deal for working people is based on “five principles of good work”.

Labour has highlighted that one in nine workers in Britain are currently in insecure work, and that households are now facing the recently announced rise in National Insurance contributions and the £20-per-week cut in Universal Credit.

Starmer has described the decision to raise National Insurance contributions by 1.25 percentage points, combined with the reduction in Universal Credit from October, as a “double whammy” – and accused Boris Johnson of “hammering working people”.

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