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28th May 2013

Queen’s Speech Outlines Further Employment Law Changes

While there may not be quite as many proposals for change as in previous years, the recent Queen’s Speech set out the government’s plans to introduce the following changes which will have an impact on employment law:

National Insurance Contributions Bill

The Bill aims to reduce the cost of employment and to support small businesses aspiring to grow, as well as deterring and tackling abusive tax schemes. It has been proposed that the Bill will reduce employer national insurance contributions (NICs) bills each year by entitling every business and charity to a £2,000 Employment Allowance. It is anticipated that this will commence from April 2014.

The Bill will also extend the General Anti-Abuse Rule to NICs, strengthen legislation to prevent the use of offshore employment payroll companies, and remove the presumption of self-employment for LLP members.

Deregulation Bill

Continuing its drive to reduce the burden of excessive regulation, the government is proposing the publication of this Bill and the scrapping of other regulations.

The proposed Deregulation Bill seeks to reduce or remove burdens on civil society, public bodies, the taxpayer and individuals by repealing legislation that is no longer of practical use. It will remove the power for employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010.

The Bill will exempt from health and safety laws those who are self-employed and whose activities pose no potential risk or harm to others. Apprenticeship provisions will also appear in this Bill to enable greater flexibility in delivery and to increase employer involvement in the design and assessment of apprenticeships.

Immigration Bill

 Although the proposed content of the Bill is currently unclear, the government hopes that any subsequent enactment will enable significant action to be taken against businesses that use illegal labour, including more substantial fines.

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