In today's Queen’s Speech, the government outlined its legislative plans for the next parliamentary session.
The speech covered many areas, including plans in relation to levelling up, an Online Safety Bill, a Bill of Rights and a Public Order Bill. However, notable (again) by its absence was the proposed Employment Bill, first announced in the Queen's Speech following the General Election in December 2019.
What was expected to be included in the Bill?
The proposed Bill was set to introduce a number of employment rights reforms including:
- reforms to the flexible working regime
- a day 1 right for carers to take a week's unpaid leave per year
- a requirement to ensure that tips for workers were paid to the workers in full
- extended protection from discrimination in redundancy situations for those who are pregnant, on or returning from maternity leave
- establishing a single enforcement body for employment rights.
So what next for these reforms?
One of the government's flagship proposals, when the bill was introduced in 2019, was the proposed changes to the right to request flexible working which centered on making this a Day 1 right. Arguably, with the UK seemingly embracing hybrid working voluntarily, the need for reform in that area has, for now at least, dropped away. However other proposed rights, many of which are significant for those set to benefit, are once again in abeyance - whether they will progress in time remains to be seen.