Boris Johnson is facing a growing backlash from the SNP, trade unions and charities - after failing to announce any plans whatsoever to improve the rights and conditions of millions of workers in the Tory Queen's Speech.
David Linden MP described the absence of any Employment Bill as a "glaring omission", which shows the Tories have "no recovery plan for millions of workers and absolutely no intention of building a fairer society after the pandemic".
The SNP Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said the omission underlined the reality that Scotland needs the full powers of independence to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery that protects and extends workers' rights, creates jobs and boosts incomes.
The absence of an Employment Bill and action to support low paid workers, boost workers' rights and tackle the problems of insecure work including fire and rehire practices, flexible working, a real living wage, sick pay, redundancy protections, and growing child poverty were described as "disappointing" by Child Poverty Action Group, while Joseph Rowntree Foundation said they were "deeply concerned".
Disappointing to see no mention of the Employment Bill in today's #QueensSpeech. Despite commitment to the early years and children’s lost learning during the pandemic, much more is needed to see how the government’s plans for #LevellingUp will support children in poverty.— Child Poverty Action Group (@CPAGUK) May 11, 2021
We're deeply concerned that providing security for low-paid workers was not a priority in today’s #QueensSpeech. Government has repeatedly committed to #LevellingUp, but with 1 in 8 workers trapped in poverty many will be in disbelief there was no #EmploymentBill announced today.— Joseph Rowntree Foundation (@jrf_uk) May 11, 2021
Commenting, SNP Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary David Linden MP said:
"For all Boris Johnson's bluster, it’s clear the Tories have no recovery plan for millions of workers and absolutely no intention of building a fairer society after the pandemic.
"The glaring omission of any meaningful plan to support low paid workers, and tackle insecure work, underlines the reality that Scotland needs the full powers of independence to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery that protects and extends workers' rights, creates jobs and boosts incomes.
"It's no wonder the Tories are facing a growing backlash. Workers, trade unions and charities are understandably angry that there is no plan to improve the conditions of employees, while the looming threat of a Tory post-Brexit race to the bottom on workers’ rights should worry us all.
"This should have been an ambitious Queen's Speech with bills to introduce a real living wage, increase sick pay, end fire and rehire, improve maternity, paternity and baby loss leave, introduce redundancy protections, flexible working, and many other measures to reshape the world of work after the crisis - but instead we got no action at all.
"The SNP government will continue to take action to protect jobs, improve workers' rights and boost incomes with the limited powers of devolution but Westminster's failure highlights the need for Scotland to determine our own future in a post-pandemic independence referendum so we can build the fairer society we all want to see."