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Queen’s speech May 2022 – employment implications
Since 2019, the Government has been promising a new Employment Bill, covering matters such as extended flexible working rights, an expansion to the rules relating to pregnancy discrimination and ensuring that tips are paid in full to workers. It was hoped that parliamentary time might finally ‘allow’ for this to come to the fore, but did this appear in the Queen’s Speech on 10 May 2022?
The answer is a resounding ‘no’, much to the disappointment of Unions and workers alike.
The Employment Bill, as announced in 2019, was to include:
- The creation of a new, single enforcement body, offering greater protections for workers.
- Ensuring that tips left for workers are paid to them in full.
- The introduction of a new right for all workers to request a more predictable contract.
- An extension of redundancy protections to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
- Allowing parents to take extended leave for neonatal care; and introducing an entitlement to one weeks leave for unpaid carers.
- Subject to consultation, making flexible working the default unless employers have good reason not to.
However, it was notably missing from this week’s Speech. Indeed, employment issues as a whole seem to have taken a back seat, with reference only to introducing new Seafarer’s legislation, in light of the P&O debacle, which will allow ports to refuse access to ferry operators who do not pay at least the National Minimum Wage.
That said, that does not mean that there will not be any changes to Employment laws over the coming year, as the Government has proposed legislation in the form of the Retained EU Law Bill, which will remove the supremacy of retained EU law over UK law. This may also impact on the rules of interpretation which apply to the UK Courts when interpreting UK legislation in light of EU law. Given the influence of EU legislation, particularly in the field of employment law, it remains to be seen what impact these proposed changes may have.
What can we do to help?
The employment team will be more than happy to discuss your needs with you. If so, please contact Gemma Sherbourne on 0113 2384 041 or email ku.oc1652650370.fcl@1652650370enruo1652650370brehs1652650370g1652650370 for more information.