We examine what the party manifestos had to say about all topics relating to facilities management.
02 December 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal and Martin Read
The Conservative party promises to
- Reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050;
- Introduce a ban on the exporting of plastic waste outside of OECD countries;
- Set up an independent Office For Environmental Protection with its own legal targets, including for air quality;
- Work towards a 'Right to Retrain' policy, setting aside £3bn for a new 'National Skills' fund;
- Raise the National Living age to £10.50;
- Look at improving "the working of the Apprenticeship Levy";
- Invest almost £2 billion to upgrade the further education college estate;
- Ensure workers "have the right to request a more predictable contract";
- Allow parents to take extended leave for neonatal care;
- "Focus our efforts on areas where the UK can generate a commanding lead in the industries of the future - life sciences, clean energy, space, design, computing, robotics and artificial intelligence";
- Use the £1 billion Ayrton Fund to develop affordable and accessible clean energy;
- Introduce a levy aimed at increasing the proportion of recyclable plastics in packaging; and
- Invest £500 million to help energy-intensive industries move to low-carbon techniques.
Labour promises to
- Use a £1 billion Fire Safety Fund to fit sprinklers and other fire safety measures in all high- rise council and housing association tower blocks;
- Ensure all employers are trained to better support disabled employees, while introducing mandatory disability pay-gap reporting for companies with over 250 employees;
- Work with employers, trade unions and public services to improve awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace and in society;
- Transform the workplace and require all large employers to have flexible working, including a menopause policy, and consider changes to sickness and absence practices;
- Revolutionise parents' rights by increasing paid maternity leave from nine to 12 months, doubling paternity leave to four weeks and extending pregnancy protection;
- Tackle excessive working hours by reducing average full-time weekly working hours to 32 across the economy, with no loss of pay, funded by productivity increases;
- Tackle the prison maintenance backlog and develop a long-term estate strategy;
- Ensure the NHS becomes a net- zero-carbon service;
- Set a goal for net-zero-carbon food production in Britain by 2040;
- Launch a Climate Apprenticeship programme; and
- Change the criteria to be listed on the LSE - any company that fails to tackle the climate and environmental emergency is delisted.
Liberal Democrats promise to
- Reform building standards to ensure that all new homes built from 2022 have full connectivity to ultra-fast broadband and are designed to enable the use of smart technologies;
- Establish an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine Living Wage across sectors;
- Change the law so that flexible working is open to all from day one in the job, with employers required to advertise jobs accordingly, unless there are significant business reasons why that is not possible;
- Modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the 'gig economy', including by establishing a new 'dependent contractor' employment status in between employment and self-employment, with entitlements to basic rights such as minimum earnings levels, sick pay and holiday entitlement;
- Set a 20 per cent higher minimum wage for people on zero-hour contracts at times of normal demand to compensate them for the uncertainty of fluctuating hours of work;
- Appoint a Minister for Wellbeing; and
- Make companies registered in the UK and listed on UK stock exchanges set targets on climate change and establish a corporate duty of care for the environment and human rights.
The Green Party promises to
- Deploy heat networks to transport heat from the source of renewable heat to individual buildings in a district or neighbourhood;
- Improve building regulations so that all renovations to roofs, external walls, windows and doors improve the energy performance of that part of the building to the equivalent of (or better than) an Energy Performance Certificate A rating;
- Insulate non domestic buildings, addressing the large amounts of energy lost from offices and public buildings;
- Fund local authorities to improve the appearance and facilities of bus stops, bus stations and train stations, to make them more user-friendly and convenient for both passengers and transport staff. This includes the provision of more public toilets, and ensuring full accessibility for disabled people;
- Encourage the renovation of non-domestic buildings by making planning consent harder to achieve for new commercial property;
- Ban the production of single-use plastics for use in packaging and invest in research and development into alternatives to plastic, and extend tax on plastic bags to cover plastic bottles, single-use plastics and microplastics, and extend plastic bottle deposit schemes;
- Promote initiatives to reduce food waste, including education programmes;
- Increase the Living Wage to £12 and extend it to workers aged between 16 and 21; and
- Support employers to explore the benefits of offering menstruation and menopausal leave to workers.
Ian Thomas, CEO, Bartlett Mitchell
The headline policies of both Labour's Real Living Wage of £10/hour in 2020 and Conservative's National Living Wage of £10.50 by 2024 are great to move against in-work poverty and are largely expected and in line with business planning. We'd like to see a sensible policy adopted towards the working week. Any commitment to enforcing a shorter working week will have a major impact on productivity, and would be an unwelcome move.We are concerned about the ability to create a stable economy with trade deals which protects our supply chains. The current uncertainty and direction of travel with regards to trade could create significant supply chain issues for the FM sector.On the environment, it is good to see all parties taking climate change more seriously and investing in a cleaner, greener economy - although point scoring with the numbers of trees to be planted, though welcome, seems rather superficial. Carbon reduction targets to Net Zero are ambitious for either in 2030's (Labour), 2045 (Lib Dem) or 2050 (Conservative).
Julian Fris, director, Neller Davies
It is important that we start looking deeper into training and development of specialisms. Having a workforce where we invest in people, rather than a race to the bottom in terms of cost, can only help to create sustainable industry.
If the government can make an absolute commitment to training, budgeting for specialists going into schools to teach cookery, for example, we will see a shift in attitudes towards certain industries and help to build for the future. We've seen initiatives such as the 'Chefs in Schools' programme which should be rolled out further.
I'd also like to see more incentives for apprentices outside of just giving them a job, and perhaps more dedicated scholarships."