Carolyn Harris calls on the UK Government to improve workers’ rights after failing to announce a single Bill in the Queen’s Speech which would do so
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, is calling on the UK Government to improve workers’ rights, after they failed to include an Employment Bill in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday. This glaring omission shows that the UK Government has abandoned its commitment to improve people’s rights at work.
The UK Government previously promised to introduce an Employment Bill that would establish employment protections after leaving the EU, and that would initiate improvements by creating a Single Enforcement Body to tackle problems such as low pay, insecurity, and inequality in the workplace. This pledge was made in 2019, but since then no such legislation has been launched.
After continuously promising the biggest improvements to workers’ rights in a generation, the UK Tory Government has blamed delays to implement this urgent legislation on the Coronavirus. The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced significant challenges to workers and brought redundancies to a record high. The pandemic should have brought employment rights to the forefront of the UK Government’s agenda, not led them to abandon workers at a time when they are most vulnerable.
The current industrial action being undertaken by workers at the DVLA in Swansea is a perfect example of people being let down. Action is being taken due to serious concerns over safety and workplace standards.
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, said:
“It is vital that the UK Government takes steps to protect workers’ rights. By improving workers’ rights, we can improve living standards across Swansea and the rest of the country. Laws need to be reformed so that they protect working people and deliver decent pay.
“There is no excuse for the UK Tory Government’s failure to prioritise workers’ rights. The Government must deliver on its promise to prevent the mistreatment of workers’, whilst ensuring that any improvements keep pace with post-pandemic changes to flexible and remote working.
“We have seen it all before. Promises made by a Tory UK Government to improve our lot, but when push comes to shove, they leave us in the lurch. From Fire and Rehire to Zero Hours Contracts we have seen the world of work become insecure. Only a dramatic rethink of our employment rights will see people be able to have decent secure jobs once more.”