The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has expressed disappointment at the omission, once again, of the promised Employment Rights Bill omitted from the Queen’s Speech earlier this week.

The Bill is pledged to strengthen day one employment rights and increase the productivity of businesses.

It set out plans which would protect and enhance workers’ rights and aim to make the UK the best place in the world to work at. This included plans to introduce the right to request flexible working for around 2.2 million people in Great Britain – regardless of time served in a bid to modernize the way employees work.

The PDA said: “The Employment Rights Bill would have presented an opportunity to improve the ability for workers to obtain redress in the event of poor treatment or discrimination through the development of a single labor market enforcement body.

“Poor employment practices, such as insecure work through long-term zero-hours contracts, unilaterally changing workers’ terms and conditions by terminating their contracts and re-hiring them on new terms and conditions (also known as fire and rehire), and the sacking of workers without notice, as recently demonstrated by P & O Ferries, could have been outlawed under new legislation.”

Alison Jones, director of policy at the PDA, said: “We are disappointed that the government has failed to act on a key manifesto pledge and bring forward the Employment Rights Bill in the Queen’s Speech. There is an important balance to be reached around securing and promoting workers’ rights in the workplace and the needs of business.

“The Bill would have gone some way, through the development of a new single enforcement body, to strengthen employment practice and prevent unscrupulous employers from failing to meet their legal obligations.

“Being part of a trade union is the best way to protect your rights at work, and to receive support and advice when you believe that these rights are being breached, or if you are subject to unfair or discriminatory employment practice.”

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