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Queen's Speech 2017: employment law implications

On 21 June 2017, the Queen's Speech set out details of legislation that the government intends to carry over into, or introduce in, the 2017-19 Parliamentary session. Key points of interest for employment practitioners are...

National living wage. 

The national living wage (NLW) will increase to 60% of median earnings by 2020. After 2020, the NLW will continue to rise in line with average earnings.


The Immigration Bill, covering the whole of the UK, will establish a new national policy on immigration, including new powers concerning the immigration status of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. The Bill will allow the government to repeal EU law on immigration, primarily free movement, which otherwise would have been saved and converted into UK law by the Repeal Bill. The migration of EU nationals and their family members will be made subject to relevant UK law after Brexit.

Data protection. 

A new Data Protection Bill will make the UK's data protection framework fit for the digital age and give individuals more control over their data, including the right to be forgotten. It will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 and implement the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), putting the UK in a position to maintain the ability to share data with EU member states after Brexit. For more information, see Legal update, Queen's Speech 2017: data protection implications.

Taylor Review. 

The government states that the Taylor Review is an important step towards ensuring fairness for all and it "looks forward" to publication of the report shortly. (See Legal update, Taylor review of modern employment practices launched.)

Gender pay gap and discrimination. 

This issue is dealt with under the heading "non-legislative measures". The government states that it intends to make further progress in tackling the gender pay gap and reducing discrimination on all grounds. No new measures were announced, but existing steps (such as the introduction of gender pay gap reporting and shared parental leave, the McGregor-Smith Review into race in the workplace and the Parker Review on ethnic diversity on boards) were referenced.

This article incorporates material originally published on Practical Law's website on 21 June 2017 and is reproduced with the permission of Thomson Reuters.

For further details see our collection of Practical Law's updates on the Queen's Speech, see Legal update, Queen's Speech 2017.


Cabinet Office: Queen's Speech 2017 (21 June 2017).
Cabinet Office: Queen's Speech 2017: background briefing notes (21 June 2017).

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