The Government has set out its plans for the next year (until the General Election which is expected to be in Spring 2015) in the Queen's Speech, delivered on 4 June. For employers, the most significant is the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which will:
- Tackle National Minimum Wage abuse by giving employers tougher penalties
- Tackle abuse in zero-hour contracts
- Introduce new measures to limit excessive redundancy payments for highly paid employees in the public sector, in particular by stopping them keeping their redundancy payment if, within a short period of time, they return to the same part of the public sector
- Make childcare regulations more flexible to meet the needs of working families
- Strengthen rules on director disqualification
Further details are still to be announced, whilst other plans in the Queen's Speech include amending legislation relating to the taxation of the self-employed and workplace pensions (to allow employees to join collective schemes, which pool risk amongst members), and to increase the total number of apprenticeship places to two million by next year, and to prioritise the growth of Higher Apprenticeships (degree level apprenticeships).