The Queen’s Speech has set out the Government’s plans for the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which, from an employment law perspective, will overhaul the workplace dispute resolution system to facilitate the earlier resolution of disputes via a more efficient and streamlined employment tribunal system. This will be achieved by encouraging early conciliation, where all claimants will be first required to lodge details of their claim with ACAS, giving the parties the opportunity to engage in conciliation, and renaming compromise agreements as settlement agreements. The Bill will also reduce the burden on businesses by repealing unnecessary and outdated legislation.
Also announced in the Queen’s Speech is the Children and Families Bill which will introduce a new system of shared or flexible parental leave, allowing mothers and fathers to share caring responsibilities in a way that best fits their needs. The proposals should give fathers much greater scope for taking extended parental leave after their baby’s birth.