Queen’s Speech: Employment Aspects

2 mins

Posted on 04 Jun 2014

The Government has outlined its legislative proposals for the next Parliament in the Queen’s speech.

Of relevance to employers are:

  • The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which will introduce measures to:
    • crack down on the abuse of zero hours contracts.  No further information on its proposals has been provided;
    • tackle national minimum wage abuses by imposing higher penalties on employers who fail to pay the national minimum wage. The detail has not been included but the Government previously announced that it would be bringing in legislation so that the maximum £20,000 penalty applies in respect of each underpaid worker;
    • strengthen rules on director disqualifications;
    • reduce delays in employment tribunals. No detail has been given on what this refers to; and
    • prevent highly paid public sector workers from keeping redundancy payments if they return to the same part of the public sector within a short period of time. 
  • The introduction of a new tax-free childcare scheme from 2015 giving basic rate tax relief on money spent on childcare, up to a maximum of £2,000 per year per child; 
  • Implementing reforms to annuities announced in the Budget so that people can draw their retirement income in one go;
  • A bill to allow employees to pay into “defined ambition” collective pension funds enabling workers to share risk.

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