Why the employment bill was left out of the Queen’s speech

Workers will likely have to wait at least another year for the Employment Bill to be introduced after it was omitted from this year's Queen Speech.

Why the employment bill was left out of the Queen’s speech

Workers will likely have to wait at least another year for the Employment Bill to be introduced after it was omitted from this year’s Queen Speech. It has been met with criticism from trade unions and HR bosses alike as the bill was set to lay out measures to improve workers’ rights.

The Employment Bill was set to introduce more stable contacts for gig workers, right to request flexible working, Statutory Carer’s Leave, enhanced protection for employers returning from maternity leave, and more.

Although many will be disappointed that this long-awaited bill was not included in the Queen’s Speech this does not mean that there will be no other changes for employers to consider.

The government’s focus on sustainability was mentioned several times during the speech. Businesses may want to review their ESG strategies to make sure that they are meeting public and client expectations of environmentally friendly practices.

Other upcoming bills such as the Brexit Freedom Bill and Data Reform could potentially cause significant disruption to businesses so employers would be wise to begin preparing.

Changes to legislation will mean that employers will have to complete a thorough review of their currently policies and procedure. It is crucial that that these are updated and shared with your workforce so that everything continues to run smoothly.

Workers rights are a hot topic at the moment. The cost-of-living crisis followed by the recent sacking of 800 P&O Ferries employees, it’s clear that workers and business owners alike are looking for more legal protection.

The introduction of the Employment Bill could have helped a lot of workers feel more secure in their positions helping to create a better work life balance.

In the last few years many people have begun to feel that their jobs are less secure despite the number of people in unemployment steadily declining. Now that the has been delayed once more, many workers will still be concerned about their job security.

The bill promised the introduction of a single enforcement body, that would protect the interests of workers across the country. The delay in this is likely a disappointment to those who are already concerned about their current employment.

While trade unions and other professional bodies already provide this security, a single centralised authority would’ve created some peace of mind for employees that feel taken for granted by employers.

Such a body would have essentially been able to lobby the government for more effective protection as they would have unified vision of workers’ justice, so it’s understandable why many employees are frustrated following the recent speech.

However, it wasn’t all bad news. The Procurement Bill and the Brexit Freedoms bill were welcomed by many due to their potential to help small businesses by giving them better opportunities to bid for public sector contacts and make it easier to amend EU laws.

While these are important steps, more needs to be done if the Government is to hit its goal of making the UK the best place in the world to work.

Although many may be worried about the delay, there are some potential silver linings. The bill will most likely be consulted on for another year at least, which means there is more time to iron out any potential flaws and improve on them.

For example, the enforcement body created by the bill will now have more time to be planned out before coming into effect. Other aspect like its provision for working mum and pregnant employees can be looked and improved upon to create even better protection. New clauses could be added to create better working conditions and more options on flexible working.

Kate Palmer
Kate Palmer

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