Queens Speech Debate - 14th May 2021
This week I participated in the Queens Speech debate at Westminster. I focussed my remarks on jobs and employment, given that I have been working a lot on issues relating to the future of work and equality. These matters will be particularly important as we emerge from the pandemic.
The UK Government evidently don't think so though. They have long promised an Employment Bill, but no such thing emerged in their plans. They have long promised action on various employment issues including redundancy protections for new mothers. No action.
They have issues to urgently resolve on zero hours contracts, on fire and rehire, on health and safety for precarious workers, on equality in work, on the future of work. No answers on any fo these. It is clear that the UK Government response to employment and the pandemic is to force a race to the bottom through deliberate inaction.
Despite being seriously hampered by a lack of powers over employment law, the contrast with the Scottish Government's ambitious, inclusive, transformative plans on fair work could not be more stark. No recovery can be successfully achieved by making work less fair. The UK Government must think again.