Queen’s Speech: Brexit, employment rights and tenancies

Published: 3 July 2017

Category: All News

The Queen’s Speech announcing the government’s plans for the coming two years was dominated with Brexit as was widely expected.

Eight of the 27 new bills were related in some way to our future relationship with the European Union and the rest of the world.

The impact on business will largely depend on the outcome of the complex negotiations that could last several years. However, there were some indications of the government’s thinking and how that might affect business and employees.

The Repeal Bill will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and convert EU law into UK law. This means that in the initial stages of the withdrawal, EU laws, directives and regulations will remain in place.

The government will then amend or repeal them over time. Any suggestion that this might lead to a reduction in employment rights seemed to be addressed in the speech.

“The National Living Wage will be increased so that people who are on the lowest pay benefit from the same improvements in earnings as higher paid workers. My ministers will seek to enhance rights and protections in the modern workplace.

“My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation.”

There was also a commitment to provide a better deal for tenants in rented accommodation.

“Proposals will be brought forward to ban unfair tenant fees, promote fairness and transparency in the housing market, and help ensure more homes are built.”

We shall keep clients informed of developments.

Please contact Matthew Sigsworth in our Dispute Resolution Team if you would like more information about any of the issues raised in this article.