The Queen’s Speech, delivered on 6 November 2007, outlines the government’s various plans for the next parliamentary year which include proposals to help people achieve a better work-life balance and a new Employment Bill.

The planned Bill aims to resolve disputes earlier by replacing the statutory dispute resolution procedures with a new non-regulatory system which should reduce the administrative burdens on employers. The Bill also intends to change the enforcement framework for the National Minimum Wage and to clarify rights for trade unions to determine their membership.

To achieve an improved work-life balance, the government is considering requests to extend the right to request flexible working. Such a right is likely to cover at least primary school children and may be extended to other family members who have assumed parental responsibility for children