There are rumours that the much anticipated Employment Bill will likely be excluded from the Queen’s speech in May 2022, as indicated by an official government source. This is the latest development in a long line of delays and broken promises on the planned legislation that would have particularly benefited gig workers and umbrella employees.
Back in December 2019 the government originally pledged a series of reforms to help workers including regulating the umbrella sector, more stable contracts for gig and platform workers, and more rights to flexible-working for employees. These were all in response to recommendations made by previous Director of Labour Market Enforcement Matthew Taylor in the Good Work Plan published in July 2017. Presumably the more recently promised Single Enforcement Body will also be now be delayed.
This would be the second year in succession that legislation to enhance workplace protections has been shelved with the omission from the last Queen’s Speech sparking outrage. – despite previously committing repeated government promises that an employment bill would be forthcoming.
Writing to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady warned:
“If the government ditches the employment bill it will be sending a green light to rogue employers to treat staff like disposable labour. After the scandalous events at P&O, which have exposed gaping holes in UK employment law, the need for new legislation has never been clearer or more urgent. There is no excuse for delay. If the government breaks its promise to enhance workers’ rights working people will have been conned and betrayed.”