The Workers Union is asking where now for the employment bill after the government chose to omit any mention of it from the Queen’s speech.
The bill was expected to deal with important issues, such as giving workers on zero-hours contracts the right to request regular hours. It was also mooted to include flexible working as a default option, rather than a special request.
Other expected measures were the creation of a Single Enforcement Body to deal with labour market abuses and legislation to tackle the practice of firing and rehiring.
A spokesperson for The Workers Union said: ‘It would be unjust to downplay the role of the government in supporting people through the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Without furlough, the country would be thrust into a state of mass redundancy as UK plc burned through people’s livelihoods to stay afloat. Without a well-structured, deliverable COVID vaccine roll-out plan, the population would still be hunkered down at home.
‘Fortunately, this nightmare scenario has been avoided through a combination of good governance and moral courage. The country has stabilised, and as we head out of a nightmarish 15 months, the signs are set fair for a major economic revival.
‘Yet there is still more to do. Dealing with problems that are a source of constant stress for working people must also form the backbone of our recovery. We can build back better if we provide workers with assurances that they will be able to feed and clothe themselves without recourse to borrowing money. We can help provide stable environments for workers and their families by giving landlords proof of regular hours.
‘We understand that Whitehall’s resources have been tested to the limit by the pandemic. At the same time, we have nothing but admiration for the way in which the government has shown its faith in the working people of this country.
‘So it is with this spirit in mind that we urge the cabinet to complete the job and deliver this bill as soon as possible.’
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you