Alex Baldock 2024

Currys chief executive Alex Baldock said he is “encouraged” by Labour’s updated version of its package of workers rights.

Retail Week Election 2024 logo

Baldock previously said the earlier plan from Labour risked “making people inadvertently poorer” as it proposed giving staff the right to claim unfair dismissal as soon as they start a new job and potentially eliminating probation periods.

The new plans say basic day-one rights will not prevent fair dismissals or probationary periods with fair and transparent rules and processes.

Speaking after Currys published its full-year results this week, Baldock said: “We spoke about probation periods being particularly important.

“While Labour has now come out and said that it will keep probation periods, it’s also said that it will consult on all of these proposals, and that’s the most important thing. 

“We like to engage with governments of whatever stripe and we will certainly do so in the consultation period around these proposals.”

He explained that the probation period is important for both employees and employers to take a “good look at each other” before committing.

He added: “We invest many millions of pounds in people’s careers and development and training. Good businesses, I hope, like Currys, don’t need to be told to look after their people and I hope that the good businesses don’t get caught up in the wash with a small minority of businesses whose practices are under scrutiny.”

While Baldock has been critical of Labour and the current Conservative government at times, he said Labour’s proposals on skills and business rates are “heading in the right direction”.

He added that some Labour MPs including shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves “understand that business can be a powerful force for good”.