The Queen's Speech was delivered on 8 May 2013 and set out more of the government's proposed laws which included a number which are relevant to both employers and employees.
National Insurance Contributions Bill. This Bill aims to reduce the cost of employment and to support small businesses aspiring to grow, as well as deterring and tackling abusive tax schemes. The Bill will reduce employer national insurance contributions (NICs) bills each year by entitling every business and charity to a £2,000 Employment Allowance. This aims to support small businesses through reducing the cost of employing people and the Government hopes this will encourage businesses to hire more staff and thus create more jobs. This will commence from April 2014.
Deregulation Bill. Continuing its drive to reduce the burden of excessive regulation, the government is proposing the publication of this Bill and the scrapping of "many other regulations". The Deregulation Bill seeks to reduce or remove burdens on civil society, public bodies, the taxpayer and individuals by repealing legislation that is no longer of practical use. It will remove the power for employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful HR claims under the Equality Act 2010. Currently this allows the Tribunal to not only make recommendations to benefit the successful claimant but also the wider workforce. For example the Tribunal can currently recommend that staff are re-trained or that an equal opportunities policy is introduced. In addition, the Bill will exempt from health and safety laws those who are self-employed and whose activities pose no potential risk or harm to others. Apprenticeship provisions will also appear in this Bill to enable greater flexibility in delivery and to increase employer involvement in the design and assessment of apprenticeships.
Immigration Bill. This Bill will enable ‘tough action’ against businesses that use illegal labour, including more substantial fines.
Other plans are still planning to be made over the next year so exciting times ahead for Employment Law….watch this space.