The Queen’s Speech reveals key Employment Law changes to look out for in 2020

legislation

2019 has been the year of two Queen’s Speeches – within a matter of weeks of each other! But with Boris Johnson’s newly elected, Tory majority government now in place, the Queen’s Speech of 19 December 2019 has come just in time for us to look ahead and see what Employment Law themes we need to keep a lookout for in 2020.

A new Employment Bill in the offing

The government announced that they will be introducing a new Employment Bill. Although there was very little detail in the speech other than “Measures will be brought forward to encourage flexible working, to introduce the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers…” the stated aims of the Bill are to:

  1. Protect and enhance workers’ rights as the UK leaves the EU, making Britain the best place in the world to work.
  2. Promote fairness in the workplace, striking the right balance between the flexibility that the economy needs and the security that workers deserve.
  3. Strengthen workers’ ability to get redress for poor treatment by creating a new, single enforcement body.
  4. Offer greater protections for workers by prioritising fairness in the workplace and introducing better support for working families.
  5. Build on existing employment law with measures that protect those in low-paid work and the gig economy.

 

The Bill will cover the following:

  • Creating a new, single enforcement body, offering greater protections for workers.
  • Ensuring that tips left for workers go to them in full.
  • Introducing a new right for all workers to request a more predictable contract.
  • Extending 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, the Bill will make flexible working the default unless employers have good reason not to.

Speaking on the proposed Bill, Head of Employment Law at Citation, Gillian McAteer commented:

“I think the Bill, like all other legislation, will be taking a back seat until the Brexit legislation passes through Parliament but it looks like they will be stepping up the pace of implementing the Good Work Plan reforms.”

The Good Work Plan to remain a priority

 The Good Work Plan – a wide-ranging shake-up of employment rights, some of which are scheduled to come into force on 6 April – will be one of the hottest Employment Law topics of 2020, and one that will affect the majority of businesses up and down the country.

Aimed at giving those working under more flexible arrangements greater protections in the workplace, The Good Work Plan has been described by the government as the ‘vision for the future of the UK labour market’ and the new Employment Bill will implement many of its reforms.

If you’re still unsure about what changes are coming via The Good Work Plan, and you want to get a better idea of what you need to do to comply, check out our Everything You Need to Know About the Good Work Plan guide.

Points-based Immigration Bill from 2021

A long-rumoured change, the government used December’s Queen’s Speech to announce their plan to introduce an Australian-style, points-based immigration system from 2021.

The proposed Bill will:

  • Bring an end to free movement in the UK
  • Create a new Australian-style points-based immigration system from 2021
  • EU citizens coming into the UK from 2021 will be subject to the same immigration controls as non-EU citizens
  • Protect the immigration status of Irish citizens when free movement ends.

But what does this mean for employers? If your business relies on EU Nationals or employees from outside of the EU to plug a skills gap, then your workforce could be heavily impacted by the move to a points-based system and contingency planning to address any gaps could be a project to start on sooner rather than later.

Get set for 2020 with Citation

Whatever your business goals for 2020 may be, Citation can be on hand to help you with your HR and Employment Law obligations.

Whether you want to better understand the potential impact of the Good Work Plan on your business or help contingency planning ahead of changes to the immigration system, when you partner with Citation, you have access to a team of HR and Employment Law experts 24/7, 365 days a year.

To discuss your business needs and to chat about how we can help you, give our team a call on 0345 844 1111 or fill out the form on the right to get in touch with us today.

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