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Queen’s Speech 2013 – key implications for employment law

In the Queen’s Speech on 8 May the government announced a whole raft of legislation it intends to implement in the next parliamentary session and the following proposals will be of interest to employers:

  • The government proposed to introduce an Employment Allowance worth £2000 to reduce the cost of employment, by reducing the level of National Insurance contributions to be paid. This allowance will be available to all businesses and charities from April 2014. The hope is that this allowance will support smaller businesses in particular by reducing the potential cost impact of employing individuals.
  • In addition, the government intends to push forward with its proposals to repeal section 124(3)(b) of the Equality Act 2010 which provides for the employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases. This has appeared in previous drafts of what is now the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 however, the government has now included it in the Deregulation Bill which will proceed through parliament in the coming year. Should this power be removed it may result in a reduced impact on any employer who is the subject of a discrimination claim, as the tribunal will be unable to impose broader recommendations to amend policy or conduct equality training for example.
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