For the second year in a row the Queen's Speech, which outlines the UK Government's legislative agenda for the year ahead, has failed to mention the Employment Bill ("the Bill"). The Bill had been introduced in the 2019 Queen's Speech following the Conservative Party's success in that year's general election
When first announced the Bill was to include provisions to make flexible working the default as well as introduce new rights including additional redundancy protections for pregnant women and new parents, leave for unpaid carers and parents of premature babies (neonatal leave and pay), a right to request a more predictable contract and rights to ensure workers retained tips in full. It was also intended to establish a new single enforcement body for employment rights.
While some of these rights have progressed through consultations during the past 18 months or so, for most, the timescale for implementation has only been given as "when parliamentary time allows". More recently it has been reported that the right for workers to retain tips is to be dropped indefinitely.
Unions and industry groups have expressed their disappointment that mention of the Bill has been omitted in the Queen's Speech. Given many other high profile employment rights - such as the introduction of a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment - also have no firm implementation date it does raise questions as to whether we are going to see as much progress with employment related legislation during 2022 as had initially been hoped.
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