The plan of work for the next term of Theresa May’s minority government shows the Conservative leader is still failing to learn the lessons of her failure to win an outright majority, the TUC has said.
Commenting on the 21 June Queen’s Speech, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The election showed that working people are fed up with an economy that doesn’t work for them – but the government still isn’t listening.
“The Queen’s Speech makes vague promises but says nothing about the changes working people need right now – like banning zero hours contracts or making gig economy employers treat their workers fairly. Nor is there anything in this Queen’s Speech to end the year-on-year real-terms pay cuts that are hitting brave and dedicated public servants, and pushing nurses into using foodbanks.”
The TUC leader added: “Workers’ rights will be put at risk by the Great Repeal Bill. It will allow ministers to bypass parliament and erode rights that come from the EU – like paid holiday and protections for part-time and agency workers. The bill must contain a specific provision to stop ministers going back and undermining the rights of working people.”
A TUC briefing issued ahead of the election warned that health and safety protections are at risk from the government’s Brexit plans (Risks 800). Although the government plans to transfer across EU-originated laws, including health and safety regulations, as part of the Great Repeal Bill, there’s a fear they could subsequently be targeted as part of the government’s deregulation drive.
Other bills in the Queen’s Speech are also of concern to unions, including the Civil Liability Bill, a sop to the insurance industry that will make it harder for many workers suffering occupational injuries or diseases in England and Wales to claim compensation.