We were disappointed to see that once again the Queen’s Speech (delivered by Prince Charles) has omitted to include the long awaited employment bill that was first promised in 2019. It should have included draft legislation enabling the government to finally start regulating the umbrella sector, something that was first muted in 2017. Now, some five years later minimal progress seems to have been made.
The umbrella sector is very important because it employs and payrolls over 600,000 temporary workers, ensuring that they receive their statutory rights such as holiday, pension and minimum wage. Unfortunately there are some dubious practices within the umbrella sector, which have led to the government’s commitment to regulate. However, the lack of legislation to enable this means it will continue to be left on the shelf.
The employment bill would have included other promised policies such as default flexible working, fair tips and pregnancy discrimination protections.
Reacting to the news, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“The prime minister promised to make Britain the best place in the world to work. But he has turned his back on working people. Today, bad bosses up and down the country will be celebrating. By shelving the employment bill, ministers have sent a signal that they are happy for rogue employers to ride roughshod over workers’ rights.”