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The Queen’s speech – key points for employers

14 May 2012

The Queen’s speech announced a number of Bills which will be introduced in the next parliamentary session. Those of importance to employers include:

• the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill – encouraging early conciliation of employment disputes requiring claimants to lodge their claim with ACAS and improving the Tribunal system by “increasing flexibility and encouraging employer compliance”. No further detail was announced of how this would be achieved but financial penalties for unsuccessful respondents are being considered.
• the Children and Families Bill – giving parents access to flexible parental leave so that they can share care responsibilities
• the Crime and Courts Bill – although no specific details in relation to employment tribunals were given, the bill aims include “ensuring a swifter, more open, efficient and effective court and tribunal system”.
Whether this legislative programme will achieve the government’s aim of “economic growth, justice and constructional reform” remains to be seen.

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