In the Queen’s speech on 18 November 2009 there were a number of proposals affecting employers. Progress of these bills will depend on the Election next year. The present Government intends to pursue the Equality Bill tackling discrimination, equality and pay which is due to come into force in October 2010, the Financial Services and Business Bill and the Agency Workers Regulations. It is still the Government’s intention to provide agency workers with the right to be treated equally with permanent staff for pay, holidays, working hours and other basic conditions. Equal treatment will apply however from day one of the job. These Regulations are to be deferred until October 2011.

The ACAS Code of Practice on time off for training and duties and activities is due to come into force in January 2010. Regulations outlawing trade union blacklists are due to come into force between January and April 2010.

The Apprenticeship Skills, Children and Learning Bill is due to come into force in September 2010 and finally the Government intends to introduce the right to request time off to train for businesses with more than 250 employees in April 2010 (and to extend this to all businesses in April 2011 or later).