With the General Election less than a month away, all of the main parties likely to form the next government have published their manifestos. 

In the first part of our two part series, we focused on what individual industries and sectors wanted to see in these documents.  

Now we’ll look in more detail at what they are actually promising and how they will affect most companies and small businesses. 


Labour have unveiled a comprehensive manifesto with several policies that could impact business owners and directors if they form the next government. 

These include:

  • Establishing a statutory Industrial Strategy Council to drive a new industrial strategy
  • Create a £7.3 billion National Wealth Fund to support strategic investments along with supporting private investment in newer technologies. These include investments in gigafactories, ports, steel, carbon capture and green hydrogen
  • Capping Corporation Tax at 25% for the entirety of the next parliament and promising to publish a roadmap for business taxation for this period
  • Replace the business rates system with a fairer method to level the playing field between high streets and online giants to better incentivise investment, tackle empty properties and support entrepreneurship
  • Support and investment for innovation and construction
  • Produce a plan for small business including taking action on late payments, lowering export barriers for SMEs and reform the British Business Bank with a stronger mandate to support SME growth in the nations and regions

Labour also published a separate policy paper called “A New Deal for Working People” before the manifesto that outlines some of their employment and business reforms. 

Specifically they promise change to introduce more certainty to zero-hour contracts including allowing workers to receive maternity and sick pay; ending the practice of “fire and rehire” on worse conditions but allowing some flexibility where there is a risk of insolvency. 

Introducing some “day one” rights for workers including the removal of a two-year qualifying period requirement for unfair dismissal claims.

They also promise to open consultations on other issues such as creating a single worker status rather than the current three-tier system of employee, worker and self-employed. They will also look at improving protection for whistleblowers, closing pay gaps, making workplaces safer from sexual harassment, producing menopause action plans and extending time limites for bringing tribunal claims. 


The main headlines regarding business and economic policy in the Conservative manifesto include:

  • 2p reduction in the National Insurance rate with a commitment to abolish the main rate of self-employed National Insurance by the end of the next Parliament
  • Maintain the National Living Wage in each year of the next Parliament at two thirds of the median earnings, where it is expected to increase to around £13 per hour
  • Create 100,000 more apprentices in England
  • Expand adult skills programmes and allow adults to be able to apply for loans to cover new qualifications
  • Introduce the Advanced British Standard to enhance technical learning for 16-19 year olds building on A levels and T levels
  • Raise the skilled worker threshold and increase all visa fees
  • Extend the 30 hours of free childcare a week to include children from the age of nine months

They also plan to increase the business rates multiplier on distribution warehouses that support online shopping over time; keep the VAT threshold under review and explore options to smooth the cliff edge at £90,000 and look at the creation of Regional Mutual Banks to better support SMEs’ access to finance. 

Key tax incentives will be retained including Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR), the successor to Entrepreneurs’ Relief, and a commitment not to increase Capital Gains Tax.

There is also a commitment to increase public spending on Research & Development by £2 billion to £22 billion a year while maintaining current R&D tax reliefs while investing in AI and an Advanced Manufacturing Plan.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats manifesto includes the following six headlines to improve the UK’s business environment:

  • Develop an industrial strategy to give businesses certainty and incentivise them to invest in new technologies to grow the economy, create good jobs and tackle the climate crisis
  • Bring down trade barriers and build strong relationships with trading partners – including by fixing our broken relationship with Europe
  • Invest in education and training including increasing the availability of apprenticeships and career advice for young people
  • Boost productivity and use technology and new ways of working to empower more parents, carers and disabled people to enter or reenter the job market
  • Abolish business rates and replace them with a Commercial Landowner Levy to boost small business and help high streets
  • Introduce a general duty of care for the environment along with human rights in business operations and supply chains

They are also planning to re-establish the Industrial Strategy Council on a statutory footing; join the European Innovation Council; create a local banking sector to better meet the needs of SMEs’ introduce a regulatory framework for AI.

They also plan to make companies with more than 250 employees sign up to an enforced prompt payment code. They will also scrap the lower apprentice rate from the National Minimum Wage and replace the apprenticeship levy with a broader and more flexible skills and training levy.

They would also expand parental leave and pay making them day-one rights and widen the Statutory Sick Pay system so it would also be effective from the first day of missing work.

No matter which party or parties form the next UK government, there will be changes coming that will affect you, your staff and your business in many ways. 

If you want to get a head start on what’s coming down the line, get in touch with us today to arrange a free initial consultation with our cabinet of expert, impartial advisors. 

They will outline all the potential policies you can implement that can secure your future but only if you act now and contact us before a vote is cast on July 4th.