It declared, in order to clarify past ambiguities, that it was legal for an employer to allow his employees a reasonable amount of paid time off work in order to vote in a parliamentary election. This permission was, as far as reasonably possible, to be given to all employees, and not to be given in order to induce them to vote for a specific candidate, or refused to discourage them from voting for another.
It did not criminalise any previously legitimate activity.
Oliver & Boyd's new Edinburgh almanac and national repository for the year 1886. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1886