What to look out for in today's Queen's Speech


Today’s Queen’s Speech is expected to contain a raft of new employment law, including plans to create two million jobs plus a further three million apprenticeships over the course of the next Parliament.

Apprenticeships will be paid for by reducing the benefits cap from £26,000 to £23,000 per year.

SMEs should welcome a raft of new policies rumoured to be in the forthcoming Enterprise Bill, which has cutting red tape as one of its core aims.

Government has said it wants to slash red tape by £10bn, and to help this, the expectation is that a ‘Small Business Conciliation Service’ will be created – which will aim to settle disputes over issues like late payment.

Also on the cards will be legislation to make it harder for unionised workers to strike. Proposals include requiring 40% of eligible union members to have to vote in favour of striking before any industrial action is allowed to take place.  

Childcare should come under the microscope too. Before the election, Conservatives promised to increase the amount of free childcare parent can claim from 15 hours per week for three and four year olds to 30 hours a week by 2017.

One thing business can definitely rely on is no increases to NI levels. Shortly before the election, David Cameron insisted there would be no rises here (and for VAT). In addition to this, he promised he would pass law to protect low paid workers. Those working 30 hours a week on the minimum wage will pay no income tax at all.