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King's Speech 2023: what employers need to know

On Tuesday, King Charles delivered his King’s Speech for 2023, setting out the government’s legislative priorities for the coming months.

It was his first as monarch and likely to be the last before a general election takes place at some point next year. 

What was said (or not said) about employment law?

Well, not a lot, and still no sign of the (ever elusive) Employment Bill, first promised back in 2019 and which now seems unlikely to materialise at all.

This doesn’t come as a great surprise. Mainly because we’ve now seen many of the long-awaited proposals that were first set out in the Employment Bill come to fruition via individual Private Members Bills over the course of 2023 (more below). 

Despite this, the King’s Speech is arguably another missed opportunity for the government to introduce yet further reform in line with its earlier promises, including the difficult task of reforming the rules around employment status and helping employees to enforce their existing rights.

So, what should employers expect in the lead up to the next general election?

There remains plenty of new legislation in the pipeline for employers to keep on top of to remain compliant. 

A number of new employment laws brought via Private Members Bills have been given the go-ahead this year but are not yet fully in force until the government provides more detail in the form of further regulations.

These include: -

The respective regulations are keenly awaited and expected over the coming year. Once provided, employers must begin to comply with them. 

We will of course keep you updated as we know more.

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