The masses have voted and a new day dawns red. At this early stage many of us will have more questions than answers. After the manifesto pledges, the TV theatrics and the political jibing, what will change in practice under a Labour government? And what does this mean for UK organisations embedding social value practices within their DNA?

Leading up to the UK General Election, Labour set forth several policy commitments concerning social value, sustainable procurement, and spending on public services. Here are a few themes that we think are worth looking out for.

Social Value

  1. Community Wealth Building: Labour has outlined plans to boost local economies through policies that support community wealth building. These include significantly expanding the co-operative economy and mutual financial services sector. The plans prioritise procurement through local businesses, co-operatives and social enterprises that reinvest funds into communities.
  2. Workers’ Rights: The party has pledged to increase the Minimum Wage to the National (or Real) Living Wage, ban Zero Hours contracts and extend the right to flexible working for all workers, not just parents and carers. Their manifesto includes commitments to improving access to affordable childcare. They plan to tackle insecure work and introduce stronger employment protections through a new Employment Rights Bill. This is likely to need extensive consultation and may take some time to implement.

Sustainable Procurement

  1. Procurement Act 2023: Labour has indicated it wants to review and potentially revise the new legislation, due to be introduced this October. On face value this appears to be good news: the party want to more explicitly incorporate principles that prioritise social value and sustainability within public procurement. They want to favour local and socially responsible organisations within the Act and further increase transparency within public sector procurement.
  2. Green Procurement: Labour’s manifesto commits to sustainable procurement practices by prioritising green and ethical sourcing. It plans to introduce regulations that require greater transparency in supply chains, pushing businesses to demonstrate that their sourcing practices do not contribute to environmental or human rights abuses. Their plans include setting targets for the public sector to purchase 50% of food from local or higher environmental standards sources.
  3. Circular Economy: The party has committed to banning single use plastics and extending producer responsibility schemes, which make manufacturers responsible for the whole lifecycle of their products. They want to introduce regulations that set minimum standards for product design and repairability. Their manifesto supports the circular economy model, focusing on reducing waste, increasing recycling, and encouraging the reuse of materials. They have pledged to create a supportive environment for circular businesses, helping them to scale and compete.

Spending on Public Services

  1. Healthcare: Labour has pledged to cut NHS waiting times with 40,000 more appointments each week and to implement a Dental Rescue Plan. They want to ensure mental health receives parity with physical health and have promised to recruit 8,500 additional mental health staff. They also plan to improve NHS infrastructure with new neighbourhood health centres and Early Support Hubs to improve outcomes for young people.
  2. Education: The manifesto includes commitments to hire 6,500 new teachers, reduce class sizes, and reform Ofsted to provide better information for parents. Labour also plans to enhance Early Years education, provide free breakfast clubs in every primary school and enable at least two weeks of work experience for students.
  3. Housing: Labour’s housebuilding targets, if delivered, would see 1.5 million new homes over the next five years, focusing on affordability and quality. This includes reforming planning rules to facilitate housing development and supporting the construction of new towns. They say the sites for the new towns will be unveiled by the end of their first year in power.
  4. Climate Action and Environment: Labour’s manifesto outlines plans to make Britain a clean energy superpower. They say they will set up Great British Energy to cut bills and accelerate the transition to clean energy, providing 650,000 jobs in green industries. They want to double onshore wind, triple solar power and quadruple offshore wind by 2030. On the failing health of the UK’s rivers, Labour has pledged to introduce special measures for water companies to include independent supervision and severe fine for illegal discharges. They want to create nine new national river walks (one in each region) and three new National Forests.
  5. Crime: Under their ‘Take Back Our Streets’ theme, Labour has promised thousands of extra neighbourhood police officers as part of a Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee. They want to restore patrols to town centres with the recruitment of police officers, community support officers and special constables.


Labour’s manifesto appears rooted in policies that support sustainability, social justice, community collaboration and local and social enterprise. However, there’s a vast wish list of major strategic change to deliver alongside the day-to-day business of running the country. At Social Value Business, we are interested to see how this is implemented in practice and which policies take priority.

We know that the implications for the Procurement Act will be a burning issue for many organisations who’ve spent time getting to grips with the new guidance. The exact detail of any revisions to this remain to be seen, and suppliers will need plenty of time and information to support the transition.

However, it’s clear there is likely to be an ever greater focus on socially responsible business; business that invests in its people, communities and wider society. To remain competitive, organisations will need to be able to measure, demonstrate and articulate their social impact. Our focus, as ever, remains on supporting organisations to navigate this with market-leading tools, training and expertise.
Today we start a refreshing new chapter of change, and within this the mission for a fairer society is as relevant as ever. While the detail is shaped in Whitehall, we’ll continue to lend our knowledge to the policymakers and to work with our clients to lead the charge right across the UK.

Social Value Business exists to help you discover, develop and measure your social value. Find out more at