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Queen’s speech: Employment law round up

This is by far the least popular speech the Queen makes each year, mostly down to the fact that most people are working while it takes place with no roast turkey, cracker or pudding in sight!

It is however the most important speech that Her Majesty makes annually in that it highlights the most important bills to be placed before Parliament in the coming months, bills that may become law and have far reaching implications for the legal landscape of the country.

So here are the key bills with particular relevance to the HR and employment law sphere:

National Insurance Contributions Bill

A bill envisioned to reduce costs to small businesses and charities that employ people. The core aim of the bill, should it pass, is to ensure that from April 2014 every business and charity will be entitled to a £2,000 employment allowance in respect of NI Contributions.

Immigration Bill

This is the bill that insofar as the mainstream media were concerned became the centre piece of the speech but mainly for wider political reasons. The main point employers should note is that the bill proposes an increase to the existing fines applicable for those employers that take on workers without permission to work in the UK. The proposed ranges for such fines are up to £10,000 for employers that accidentally employ illegal workers, and a potentially unlimited fine for those employers found to be deliberately flouting the law.

Both the above bills if passed will apply to the whole of the UK.

Draft Deregulation Bill

This bill puts forward what many may argue is a return to common sense by seeking to reduce the amount of regulation with which businesses, individuals and public bodies needs to comply. The proposals include exemption from health and safety legislation in respect of those who are self-employed, work alone or from home, or whose work poses no risk of harm to others. There are also provisions that seek to make changes to facilitate the wider use of apprenticeships.

This bill if passed will be applicable to England and Wales with certain sections of the bill being applied to Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Overall this Queen’s Speech has not had a massive impact upon the world of employment law, though there are still a huge amount of significant changes in the offing, given the introduction of tribunal fees due in July (also reported this month) and changes to the Tribunal procedure overall.

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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