New legislation relating to terrorism, school leavers and climate change may have dominated the headlines, but the Queen's speech also contained a number of employment-related measures. We think these three are the most important:
- Pensions: a Bill to pave the way for personal pension accounts will be published in this session. When implemented (probably in 2012) all employers will have to contribute 3 per cent of salary to a pension scheme for their employees, unless satisfactory pension arrangements for them are already in place.
- Statutory dispute resolution: the Employment Bill will reform or abolish the statutory dispute resolution procedures. The form these measures will take will become clearer once the Government has published its response to the public consultation on the Gibbons Review, which is expected shortly.
- Flexible working: plans are afoot to extend flexible working to parents of children over six. There will be a review to work out how this can be done.
The Government has previously announced its commitment to introducing a Single Equality Bill to bring all discrimination legislation under one roof. The Government plans to publish its response to the Green Paper consultation exercise in the new year, and to include a Bill in next year's Queen's speech.
Mills & Reeve's summary of the main measures announced in the Queen's speech can be accessed here.