67 Grosvenor St | Mayfair | London W1K 3JN | T: 020 7769 6831

What effect could the outcome of the UK General Election have on SMEs in the UK? 


What effect could the outcome of the UK General Election have on SMEs in the UK? 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced an early UK General Election for July 4, 2024. With the election just weeks away, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are keen to understand what the next government might offer and how the election’s outcome could impact them. 

The general election could provide businesses with much-needed clarity after a tumultuous year. SMEs are already grappling with economic uncertainty, the lingering effects of the recession, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the cost-of-living crisis, and the aftermath of the pandemic. The uncertainty in the lead-up to the election is causing the pound to fluctuate against major currencies, increasing the pressure on goods and services sourced from abroad. 

SMEs are the backbone of the economy, making it crucial for political parties to propose pledges that support small businesses to secure a favourable vote. Small business owners and the self-employed across the country will be scrutinising which party offers the most compelling pro-growth, pro-business policies to stimulate the economy and foster entrepreneurship. 

The UK’s 5.5 million small firms represent a significant and motivated section of the electorate, alongside the 16 million voters employed by small businesses. There will be intense competition for their votes, and candidates will need a convincing plan to reduce the cost of doing business, support small businesses’ growth, and create an environment conducive to new start-ups. As the campaign unfolds, each party must present a clear manifesto for small businesses. 

Business owners are calling on the next government to champion SMEs in order to solidify the UK’s status as an economic superpower. They argue that the upcoming election is a crucial opportunity to highlight business and technology as key drivers of economic recovery. 

Significant changes to employment law are anticipated, with each party promising workplace reforms. In 2024, numerous changes to employment law have already been introduced, with more potentially on the horizon. The Labour Party’s manifesto, if enacted, could significantly impact businesses of all sizes. The proposed reforms to workers’ and employment rights will create a busy period for HR professionals in particular, as businesses will need to carefully assess the feasibility of hiring decisions under these new regulations. One key change is the plan to grant full employment rights to all workers from their first day, raising many questions about the best path forward for businesses of all sizes. 

The Conservative Party, if re-elected, plans to continue implementing the 10 new employment laws introduced this year. These include neonatal care leave and pay, industrial action law reform, the ‘Back to Work’ plan, proposed fit note reforms, umbrella company market reform, continuation of the National Disability Strategy, reintroduction of employment tribunal fees, reform of non-compete clauses, TUPE reform, and addressing the definition of ‘sex’ in the Equality Act 2010.  

In contrast, the Labour Party’s manifesto outlines approximately 60 changes to employment laws. Key changes business owners should be aware of include removing qualifying periods for basic rights like unfair dismissal, sick pay, and parental leave from day one. Labour also plans to eliminate the distinction between employees and workers, strengthening existing rights and protections, including those for pregnant workers, whistle-blowers, workers made redundant, and those subject to TUPE processes. Other plans include raising wages, increasing Statutory Sick Pay, addressing pay gaps, permitting equal pay comparisons across employers, and requiring ethnicity pay gap reporting for firms with over 250 staff. 

Labour also aims to require employers to maintain harassment-free workplaces, make flexible working a default right, and introduce family-friendly protections such as extended bereavement leave and protections for pregnant employees post-maternity leave. They propose strengthening workers’ rights to respond to family emergencies, banning ‘one-sided’ flexibility in zero-hours contracts, and improving information and consultation procedures. Labour plans to raise awareness of neurodiversity, review provisions for stress, mental health, and long Covid, introduce a right to disconnect, protect workers from remote surveillance, extend the time limit for employment tribunal claims, and remove compensation caps. 




The upcoming UK General Election holds significant implications for SMEs. The clarity it brings can help stabilise the business environment amidst economic uncertainty. SMEs, being crucial to the economy, require support through pro-business policies to thrive. Employment law reforms proposed by different parties could reshape the business landscape, making it essential for business owners to stay informed and prepared. As political parties compete for the votes of small business owners and their employees, the focus must remain on creating a conducive environment for SMEs to grow and drive economic recovery. 

To receive further advice on how to bolster the strength of your business amongst economic uncertainty, contact Voscap today on 020 7769 6831, or email help@voscap.co.uk. 

About Voscap Ltd

Voscap’s primary objective is to save your business! Our team of experts’ knowledge in restructuring and turnaround assignments is invaluable when assessing the best option available to your needs. With experience spanning several decades, we have the skill and resources to provide viable solutions within all industry sectors. All organisations go through difficult times and we are here to help. From small to multi-million turnover businesses, we have dealt with the most complex of cases. We offer an initial free assessment in analysing your financial position and providing clear and precise advice making your experience a simple non-complicated process. Get in touch →

Recent Articles

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss new updates on your email

All organisations go through difficult times

At Voscap we are here to help – always confidentially