General Election Preparation: The Importance of Using Interim Staff for Membership Organisations, during General Election Turbulence.

As the UK General Election approaches, the climate can become increasingly uncertain, volatile, and subject to sudden shifts. We look at the potential policies that Membership Organisations need to prepare for, and how they can use interim staff to get ahead during this crucial phase.

Political parties offer competing visions for the future, each with its own set of priorities that may or may not come to pass. In this article, we have reviewed the key policies from each party that may potentially affect Membership Organisations.

Furthermore, in this atmosphere of change, Membership Organisations - representing a wide range of interests and sectors - find themselves at a crossroads between politics and the need to advocate for their members.

To prepare for the potential upheaval that could follow the 2024 UK General Election, Membership Organisations are taking steps to adapt and prioritise accordingly.

The constant flux of the political landscape puts pressure on time and resources in member-focused organisations, and can push the expertise of even the most experienced professionals, and here's why and where the before and after effects of a UK General Election may be most keenly felt:

  • Policy & Public Affairs – It's crucial to keep in mind that the policies that affect our organization's sector and its members could undergo significant changes if a new political party takes office. Public affairs work involves government relations, media communications, issue management, corporate and social responsibility, and information dissemination. This work is especially important before and after a general election.
  • Finance – The budgets, regulations, financial compliance, and guidelines may change depending on the political party in power. Tax and pay implications are often altered as well, putting additional pressure on finance professionals to stay updated and informed after election results are announced.
  • Senior Leadership - Assisting a membership organisation, its trustees, stakeholders, members, teams, and affiliations in navigating political and governmental changes can be complex. This becomes even more challenging when a general election is added to the mix. Interim leaders who have successfully guided organisations through critical political changes can provide significant support, helping organisations navigate through the changes smoothly, which in turn benefits their members.
  • Marketing - It is crucial to employ effective strategies to update all key stakeholders, such as members, before and after a general election. This involves ensuring that the messaging is accurate and on point, providing the right reassurance to members, and utilising the right marketing mix to guarantee that all key audiences receive the same unified message. However, this can place additional strain on marketing teams, which can be alleviated by interim talent.
  • Membership - Your members will have their own questions about the impact a change in political party will have on your organisation's future stance. How can this be best communicated to your members? It is crucial to have strategies and activities in place to effectively convey your key messages, ensuring the tone is appropriate for your members. If you don't have the right membership talent in-house to achieve this, you could consider interim membership focused talent to inject that expertise.
  • Communications & PR -  You have decided on what you want to communicate to key audiences after the election. Now, how do you effectively convey this in writing and through appropriate channels? Do the political changes justify significant adjustments requiring the creation and issuance of press releases? And do you have the in-house talent in-house to deliver this effectively?
  • Secretarial & Governance - If significant political changes occur after the election, leading to the need for adjustments in your Governance teams' operational framework, this will place additional strain on them and their workloads.
  • Events - Depending on the type of membership organisation you have, you may need to schedule new events after the election to offer additional layers of thought leadership and information. If you have a small events team or need extra events expertise, you might consider bringing in an interim professional to help out.
  • Education & Learning - Will the rise of a new political party affect what your employees and members need to be educated on? Even if a new party isn't in power, has the outcome of the election influenced your business, requiring you to educate your teams accordingly? If your education and learning roadmap is already full and it's difficult to make adjustments, an interim expert could help fill any gaps and assist with delivery.

Interim Staff: Pre and Post-Election Benefits

Many membership organizations appreciate the potential benefits of hiring interim staff, but recent changes to contractor legislation and concerns about managing and integrating interim staff have made them hesitant to take the first step.

If you're feeling unsure, we can support you every step of the way. Additionally, we are excited to announce a ground-breaking new solution that will revolutionise this process for you. Stay tuned for more details on this!

To state the obvious, our pre-vetted, trusted, and qualified interim professionals can quickly and efficiently deliver what you need before and after the election.

  1. Specialist Knowledge

Many interim professionals possess specialised knowledge and experience that are particularly valuable during election periods. This includes expertise in policy analysis, advocacy, communications, and crisis management. Their skills enable Membership Organisations to respond effectively to new challenges and opportunities.

Uncertainty at election time often leads to increased availability of policy advisers, who take the opportunity to change career direction. At Membership Bespoke, we are able to connect Membership Organisations with these talented individuals.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

Hiring interim staff can be more cost-effective than expanding the permanent workforce. Interim professionals are often hired for specific projects or timeframes, which allows organisations to control costs and allocate resources more efficiently. Bringing-in highly experienced senior talent on a part-time basis, can be an excellent way for Membership Organisations to gain access to expertise that might otherwise be out of reach.

  1. Budget Flexibility

During election periods, Membership Organisations may face budget constraints or the need to reallocate funds quickly. Interim staff provide a flexible staffing solution that can be scaled up or down as needed, ensuring that organisations can manage their resources effectively.

The management of funds and re-organisation of budgets can be challenging for finance teams that are staffed at a level to manage day-to-day activities. The ability to bring in expertise that can quickly make and apply changes, aligning them across systems, can prevent the existing team from losing focus on member requirements.

  1. Adaptability to Political Changes

Interim staff are by nature highly adaptable. They repeatedly adjust to new employers and new challenges. Interim staff are adept at navigating the rapidly changing political landscape that characterises election periods. Their ability to quickly understand and respond to new policy directions and political dynamics can be invaluable for Membership Organisations.

  1. Strategic Alignment

Interim professionals can help organisations realign their strategies to match the priorities of the newly installed government. This might involve revising advocacy campaigns, adjusting communication strategies, or developing new policy positions. Changes in strategy have significant consequences for Membership Organisations as they rarely happen in isolation and more likely has consequences that reverberate through the organisation, its membership, and systems. The implications here on Communications, Events, Support, Finance, Policy, Governance and Press teams can be considerable.

  1. Policy Analysis and Development

Interim policy analysts and researchers can provide in-depth analysis of political developments and their potential impact on the organisation’s members. This helps the organisation to develop well-informed policy positions and advocacy strategies and mitigations.

  1. Crisis Management

Elections can bring unexpected challenges and crises. Interim staff, particularly those with experience in crisis communications and public affairs, can manage these situations effectively, ensuring that the organisation maintains its reputation and influence. Some policies are flagged as priorities for the political parties, and mitigations can be brainstormed, but few Membership Organisations have the resources to make them ‘oven-ready’ without knowing the detail. Less heralded change can cause just as much disruption, but with little notice or confirmed timescales.

  1. Enhanced Advocacy and Engagement

Interim staff can enhance the advocacy efforts of Membership Organisations by providing additional capacity and expertise. This is particularly important during election periods when effective engagement with policymakers and stakeholders is critical. In addition, Marketing, Events and Press teams will need to lean on their experience to ensure that messaging is crystal clear, and Support teams will require understanding to handle Member enquiries.

  1. Expert Support for Core Functions

While the election period may bring additional challenges, Membership Organisations still need to maintain their core functions and services. Interim staff can support these functions, ensuring that the organisation continues to meet the needs of its members.

  1. Event Management

A summer election encroaches in the middle of the preparation for the autumn event season. Scheduled events will need to adapt to changes, new events will be required and events teams will also have their family summer holidays booked and paid for.

The increase in event activity from additional conferences, seminars, and member will require many Membership Organisations to call for assistance from interim event managers and coordinators who can step-in to handle the logistics and planning of these events, to ensure their seamless success.

How we can help you to navigate General Election turbulence

At Membership Bespoke, we’re totally committed to the Membership Sector. We are partners with the Trade Association Forum (TAF) and the Professional Associations Research Network (PARN). As leaders in the recruitment industry, we are also partners with Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), which has its own General Election Hub and analysed each of the main political party manifestos.

Being focused on Membership Sector recruitment means that every day we are talking with organisations across the sector and talented people who are looking for work. This gives us a unique perspective on the broader challenges that organisations and staff are facing. If our knowledge can be of service to you, we would be delighted to help.

We specialise in providing interim workers to Membership Organisations across all disciplines, specifically, Events, Education and Training, Finance, Marketing & Digital, Policy & Public Affairs,

Other areas that we have recruited interim talent for comprise Operations, Human Resources, Senior Leadership/C-Suite, Business Transformation, Digital Transformation, Project Management, as well as Sales roles including Business Development, Account Management and Event Sales. Communications & PR and Secretarial & Governance.

How the party manifestos can affect your Membership Organisation

Conservative Party

Welfare System Reforms: There is a focus on reforming the welfare system to encourage employment among those who can work. This includes measures to support individuals with disabilities or health conditions in finding employment.

Support for Working Parents: The expansion of free childcare and increased funding rates for the childcare sector aim to support working parents. This policy includes the creation of more childcare places and hiring more staff, which could impact recruitment in the childcare sector

The manifesto highlights a tax system designed to incentivise business investment, including the continuation and possible extension of the 'full expensing' policy​​. Membership Organisations in the business sector may benefit from these tax incentives, enhancing investment opportunities for their members.

International Development and Aid: The manifesto outlines plans to use aid and development funds to support strategic objectives, particularly in fragile states. This includes working with partners to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and tackle poverty​​. Membership Organisations involved in international development might find new opportunities or face changes in funding priorities.

Minimum Wage rules: The Conservatives plan to maintain the National Living Wage in each year of the next Parliament at two-thirds of median earnings. Their manifesto states that it would be forecasts rise to around £13 per hour.


Labour Party

Strengthening Workers' Rights and Trade Unions: The manifesto commits to implementing "Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering a New Deal for Working People," which aims to create a partnership between businesses and trade unions. This includes legislation to introduce basic rights from day one of employment, such as parental leave, sick pay, and protection from unfair dismissal. It also involves establishing a Single Enforcement Body to ensure employment rights are upheld.

This approach emphasises the collective voice of workers, including through their trade unions, which can impact how Membership Organisations operate, particularly those involved in representing workers' interests.

Local Empowerment and Devolved Funding: Labour proposes devolving funding to local areas so they can shape a joined-up work, health, and skills offer for local people. This includes creating plans to support more disabled people and those with health conditions into work, tackling the backlog of Access to Work claims, and ensuring employment support is effective.

Membership Organisations, especially those focusing on local development and support services, could be significantly impacted by these changes as they might have more resources and autonomy to address local needs.

Minimum Wage Adjustments: Labour commits to making the minimum wage a genuine living wage by adjusting the remit of the Low Pay Commission to consider the cost of living and removing discriminatory age bands so all adults receive the same minimum wage.

Liberal Democrat Party

Support for Voluntary and Community Sector: The manifesto highlights the importance of the voluntary and community sector, indicating a commitment to providing support and resources to these organisations. This could include funding, policy support, and facilitation of their operations within communities.

Education and Skills Development: Commitments to improve education and skills development, including support for arts and culture, can benefit Membership Organisations in these fields. This includes potential funding for cultural projects and efforts to boost participation in the arts, which can enhance the capacity and reach of related Membership Organisations.

Living Wage: An independent review will be established to recommend a genuine living wage across all sectors, with government departments and public sector employers leading by example in paying it.

Gig Economy and Employment Rights: The manifesto proposes modernising employment rights to suit the gig economy by establishing a new ‘dependent contractor’ status, reviewing tax and National Insurance statuses, and setting a higher minimum wage for zero-hour contract workers during normal demand periods.

Green Party

Pay discrepancy: The manifesto proposes to campaign for a maximum 10:1 pay ratio for all private and public-sector organisations, to limit the pay discrepancy between workers and senior executives.

Employment rights: The party proposes to legislate for workers to have full employment rights from day one of their employment and abolish tribunal fees.

Pay auditing: The Green party will campaign to require all large and medium-size companies to carry out equal pay audits and redress any inequality uncovered relating to pay and hiring practices.

‘Gig economy’ workers: They plan to bring platform workers under a single legal status of ‘worker’, with full and equal rights from the first day of employment.

Reduced Working Week: Elected Greens will support reduced working hours and moving towards a four-day working week.


Scottish National Party

Minimum Pay: The SNP plans to legislate for an ‘essentials guarantee’ to ensure everyone can afford basic necessities like food and utilities. This has the potential to affect staff and members.

Investment: The manifesto supports an adjustment to fiscal rules that would allow greater investment in renewing infrastructure and services in Scotland. Membership organisations that are involved in trades allied to construction or civil engineering could benefit from this.

Sick Pay: The party want to ensure lower paid workers have access to statutory sick pay and dispose of the four-day waiting. This could affect staff management, especially if it leads to a further increase in absenteeism.

Worker protection: Amend the definition of worker to strengthen protections by creating a single status of “worker” covering all employment contracts.

Reform Party

Employer Immigration Tax: Reform plans to put in place a two-tier National Insurance rate, raising it to 20% for ‘foreign workers’. British citizens’ National Insurance rate would remain at 13.8%. Essential foreign health and care workers would be exempt from the planned increase, as would small businesses who employ fewer than five staff members. This may require Membership Organisations to review existing staffing, and it’s unclear whether there would be an increase in Employer’s National Insurance contributions for the ‘foreign workers’ covered by the scheme.

Contractors: The manifesto states that they wish to abolish IR35 rules. This could support an increase in flexible working. It has the potential for bring more senior skills back into the workforce, but also potentially seeing staff preferring to be remunerated outside of PAYE.

Apprenticeships: Reform wishes to specifically provide tax relief for businesses that undertake apprenticeships, but also support measures that encourage 16-34 year olds back into the workforce.