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The Queen's Speech: A Summary of Employment Implications

On 21 June 2017, the Queen's Speech set out details of legislation that the Government intends to continue, or introduce, in the 2017-19 Parliamentary session.

Key points of interest for employment practitioners are:

National Living Wage

The National Living Wage is going to be increased to 60% of median earnings by 2020, meaning that the wages of the lowest paid will increase quicker than average in order to achieve this. Whilst recognising that this needs to be affordable to businesses, the lowest paid will essentially benefit from the same improvements in earnings as higher paid workers in order to enhance rights and protections in the modern workplace.

Immigration

The Immigration Bill, covering the whole of the UK, will launch new national rules on immigration and will enable the government to repeal EU immigration law. The Bill will include new powers to govern the immigration status of individuals in the European Economic Area (EEA) and will allow the Government to repeal EU law on immigration, predominantly the free movement of people, which otherwise would have been converted into UK law by the Repeal Bill. These changes will mean that the immigration of EU nationals and their family members will fall within the scope of relevant UK law post-Brexit.

Data protection

A new Data Protection Bill will be introduced and will replace the Data Protection Act 1998. This will implement the provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018, and will enable the UK to maintain and modernise its ability to facilitate both domestic and cross-border data sharing post-Brexit. The Bill will also include a right to be forgotten when individuals no longer want their data to be processed, subject to there being no legitimate grounds for retaining it.

Taylor Review

The Taylor Review is an important step towards ensuring fairness for all and will consider the implications of new models of working on the rights and responsibilities of workers, as well as on employer freedoms and obligations. It is expected to take 6 months within which the review team will embark on a regional tour and speak to employers and workers in the gig economy, the rural economy and the manufacturing economy in a bid to keep pace with new business models.

Gender pay gap and discrimination

Reference was made to a number of past "non-legislative measures", such as gender pay gap reporting, shared parental leave, and extension of the right to request flexible working, all intended to promote equality and diversity in the workplace. The government states that it intends to progress further the issue of the gender pay gap and reduce discrimination on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

CONTACT CHRIS

If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or an Employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Cook on 01727 798089.

© SA LAW 2017

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.

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