“Working people need more than vague promises” says the Trade Union Congress

Summary of the Queens speech 2017: What it means for you

The Queens speech was delivered on the 21st of June 2017 in the House of Parliament. The purpose of this speech was to define the Minority Government’s legislative programme that the UK will see take effect over the next two years.

Regarding employment issues, the speech revealed details on the Governments plans previously pledged in the General Election, however, not all pledges appeared to remain.

The speech commenced on the issue of Brexit, her Majesty stated: “My government’s priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union.

“My ministers are committed to working with Parliament, the devolved administrations, business and others to build the widest possible consensus on the country’s future outside the European Union.

“A bill will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act and provide certainty for individuals and businesses.”

It has been announced that the UK will continue to attract “the brightest and the best” however, this will be based on a new Immigration Bill which will see the end to EU rules on free movement for EU nationals in the UK. Further, EU nationals and their families will now be governed under UK legislation following Brexit.

In relation to technical education, the minority Government have planned to implement 15 technical education routes, which include “T-Levels”, these will be prepared based on standards required from employers.

In May 2017, the Conservative Party had pledged to introduce ethnicity pay gap reporting, however, the Queen failed to go into great detail on this in her speech. She stated: “My Government will make further progress to tackle gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability and sexual orientation.”

The Conservative Party’s general election manifesto involved the extension of protections under the Equality Act 2010. At present, an individual must have suffered for 12 or more months for it to be classed as a disability under equality legislation. The Tory’s had pledged to cut this requirement…… There was no further mention of this in the Governments legislative plans on Wednesday.

In addition, the Government have failed to mention scrapping the 1% pay cap on public service workers, despite the pressure that has been put on the Prime Minister since losing out on a majority Government.

In response to the speech, Frances O’Grady who is the General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress commented: “The election showed that working people are fed up with an economy that doesn’t work for them – but the government still isn’t listening.”

“The Queen’s Speech makes vague promises but says nothing about the changes working people need right now – like banning zero hours contracts or making gig economy employers treat their workers fairly.”

“Nor is there anything in this Queen’s Speech to end the year-on-year real-terms pay cuts that are hitting brave and dedicated public servants, and pushing nurses into using foodbanks.”

“Workers’ rights will be put at risk by the Great Repeal Bill. It will allow ministers to bypass parliament and erode rights that come from the EU – like paid holiday and protections for part-time and agency workers. The bill must contain a specific provision to stop ministers going back and undermining the rights of working people.”

How Can We Help?

If you are unsure about how these potential changes to employment law might affect your business, or simply want to check your company’s compliance generally, contact us and we will undertake a full review of your current arrangements and provide you with our findings and recommendations. Call us now for your free consultation – 0800 612 4772