Saturday 25 March, 2023: New Labour’s employment policy (1997 to 2010): lessons for the future of work
The Chancellor’s Hall, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London
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Under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, New Labour was in power longer than any previous Labour government. However, its economic and employment policies have remained controversial. These include ‘third way’ concepts like the enabling state and flexible labour markets, as well as a new emphasis on individual employment rights and the National Minimum Wage. A decade on, this event explores some policy lessons from the New Labour experience, read in three historical contexts: the prior experience of Thatcherism and the UK’s transition to a service economy; the earlier history of Labour in power; and wider trends in European social democracy. The day will also consider New Labour’s influence on the Conservative-led governments that followed and current political debates about work, from a variety of perspectives.

Event programme:

11am New Labour at work: framing the debate 

  • Peter Ackers (Industrial Relations historian)

11.30am Witness Panel: New Labour’s contested legacy

  • Jon Cruddas (Labour MP), Ian McCartney (former Labour Minister)
  • John Monks (former Gen Sec TUC & ETUC), Chair: Helen Hague (journalist)

1-2pm Lunch

2pm New Labour in History

  • TBA
  • Patrick Diamond (Historian of New Labour)

3pm Coffee break

3.30pm After New Labour: wider policy lessons

  • Anne-Marie Greene (Industrial Relations academic)
  • Sarah Veale (former TUC head Equality and Employment Rights)

Close at 4.30pm

Ticket cost: £20 (includes lunch & refreshments)