Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith has launched a 25-point policy plan to make work fairer. The extensive manifesto, unveiled during a roundtable event with workers in Camden on Tuesday (2 August), includes a commitment to abolish employment tribunal fees and outlaw "bogus" self-employment by enhancing the definition of "worker" in labour law.

"At the core of my radical vision for Labour's future is a commitment to making tackling inequality the focus of everything our party does," said Smith.

"This simply can't be achieved without fairness in the workplace and to make this a reality, we need nothing short of a revolution in workers' rights. Delivering that requires more than just rhetoric, it needs a credible plan."

The Pontypridd MP added: "These measures are part of my plan to take Britain from the shameful position of having some of the worst workplace protections in Europe, to having workers' rights that are the envy of the world."

The 'manifesto for fairness at work' comes after Smith made 20 Labour leadership pledges, which included a commitment to scrap the Department for Work and Pensions for a Ministry of Labour. The launch triggered a war of words with Jeremy Corbyn's team and allies, who claimed to have already backed the ideas.

"We welcome Owen's focus on equality of outcome, reindustrialisation and workers' rights, and his support for policies announced in recent months by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell," a spokesman for the Jeremy for Labour campaign said.

"We are delighted that he has echoed John McDonnell's call for the reinstatement of a Ministry of Labour, made last month at the Institute of Employment Rights (28 June 2016), and Jeremy Corbyn's call for a ban on exclusive workforce recruitment from abroad, made during the referendum campaign, among other policies.

"Owen's speech today shows the leadership that Jeremy Corbyn has demonstrated in placing economic justice and fairness back at the heart of Labour politics. Under Jeremy, Labour has put restoring dignity and pride in our communities worst hit by decades of neglect at the core of our politics."

Smith's latest policy announcement comes more than a month before the winner of the leadership contest is announced on 24 September in Liverpool. Corbyn, who secured almost 60% of the vote in Labour's 2015 leadership election, is favourite to win the race.

The left-winger has recently won the support of transport union Aslef, construction union Ucatt and the Communications Workers' Union. Unison and the GMB are balloting their members over the contest, while the TSSA and Unite are expected to throw their support behind Corbyn.

The latest opinion poll from YouGov for The Times, of more than 1,000 Labour members between 15 and 18 July, put Corbyn on 56% and Smith on 34% based on first preference votes.

Owen Smith's manifesto for 'fairness at work'

Strengthen collective bargaining

1. Introduce Modern Wages Councils to cover 9 million workers in Hospitality, Retail and Social Care.

2. Provide a legal framework for voluntary sectoral collective bargaining in other sectors with universally applicable wage rates.

3. Restore full collective bargaining and end pay freezes in the public sector. National pay bargaining to continue in Health, Local government and Education and to be restored in the Civil Service − with Pay Review board decisions to be respected.

Improve collective Trade Union rights

1. Strengthen union recognition rights to provide for recognition where majority support is clear.

2. Provide mandatory access arrangements to workplaces for trade unions where requested by workers.

3. Amend law to remove unfair obstacles to industrial action, unfair time limits, and opportunities to use injunctions to obstruct democratic votes. Ensure law complies with International Labour Organisation standards.

4. End use of sweetheart unions to avoid recognition.

5. Modernise balloting with e-balloting to increase participation.

6. Repeal the Trade Union Act 2016 immediately on taking office.


1. New Equal Pay legislation to close the gender pay gap.

2. Simplify the enforcement of equality law and abolish fees for Employment Tribunals.

3. Reintroduce discrimination questionnaires and employment rights from day one to protect workers with protected characteristics including pregnant women, older and young workers and disabled workers.

4. Require publication of race equality plans for companies over a certain size.

Improve individual rights for working people

1. Employment rights from day one

2. Enhance definition of "worker" in employment law, to outlaw bogus self-employment, strengthen rights and address agency labour issues.

3. Outlaw exclusively foreign recruitment

4. Require all workers to receive a statement of rights, pay, hours, living wage and average wage

5. Outlaw Zero-hours contracts

6. Compensation for cancelled shifts.

7. Restore access to justice for workers by abolishing fees for Employment Tribunals.

8. Strengthen enforcement of National Living Wage.

9. Strengthen enforcement of Health and Safety legislation, including restoring civil liability for breach of regulations and restore health and safety protection for self employed workers.

Ensure a voice for people at work

1. Worker representation on all Remuneration Committees.

2. Information and Consultation rules to apply to companies of 50 employees.

3. With the potential demise of European Works council in larger companies, we will, if necessary, introduce Works Councils with similar powers and composition (including trade union reps where present) to all companies with over 500 employees.