Where has the Employment Bill gone?
When I recently presented my Employment Law & HR Update course, I explained to the delegates that the forthcoming Employment Bill would make significant changes in several key areas. The Bill was first announced in 2019 but was then delayed during the pandemic. It was expected to be debated later this year but was mysteriously absent from the Queen’s Speech delivered to Parliament on 10th May.
The Bill contains several reforms to employment rights in the workplace that were recommended by the Taylor Review in 2017, which was commissioned by the Government. It’s continued absence from the legislative timetable has frustrated Matthew Taylor, who conducted the review, as well as trade unions and campaigners for workplace rights.
Key reforms in the bill include…
- The right to request flexible working from day one of employment
- The right to predictable work hours for those working on zero hours contracts or in the gig economy
- Changes to the National Minimum Wage rules to allow workers in the hospitality sector to keep more of their tips and gratuities
- Extended obligations on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and from third parties
- The right to 5 days leave per year for carers
- The introduction of statutory neonatal leave and pay for parents of babies requiring neonatal care
There is still time for the Government to pass this legislation before the end of this Parliament as it has promised to do. The influential Women and Equalities Committee had called for a draft of the Bill to be published by June. Whilst this is now impossible, the Government will remain under pressure to keep good on its promises to strengthen these important workplace protections.
Make sure you sign up for the next presentation of the Employment Law & HR Update in October to ensure you know what is happening regarding this legislation and other important developments.