Last week, the government outlined its priorities for the next parliamentary term, and there was plenty for HR to sit up and take notice of.
We take a look at the legislation and what business and the unions think, and then ask whether or not the Bills will make it onto the statute book.
Corporate Manslaughter Bill ***
The Bill would make company directors liable for deaths at work due to negligence. It is unclear as yet whether it will differentiate between negligence and gross negligence and whether or not it will apply in both the private and public sector.
CBI: If the government is going to press ahead on corporate manslaughter, it must ensure the legislation is fair. The grossly negligent must be separated from genuinely responsible employers.
Personnel Today says: This has been consistently promised by the government since 1997 and has always come to nothing. A recent private members Bill failed after virtually no-one turned up to vote on it. However, draft legislation has been put out for consultation which seems to show the government's good intentions.
Immigration and Asylum Bill ***
A new points system will be put in place to get skilled people from abroad into jobs where the UK presently is suffering skills gaps. Only highly-skilled migrants will be able to stay permanently and then only once they have passed a 'Britishness' test. Employers could face a £2,000 fine for every illegal worker they employ. Asylum procedures will be streamlined.
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: Any efforts to improve the management of the migration system must take great care to ensure the legitimate needs of employers are met. Our research shows that more than one in four employers are planning to recruit from abroad in the current quarter.
Personnel Today says: It was a flashpoint in the general election campaign, but in the past there have been major back-bench rumblings over asylum changes and, with a smaller majority, the government might struggle.
Parental Rights Bill *****
The Bill will extend paid maternity leave to nine months and give more rights to working fathers so they can take up to seven-and-a-half months of the time currently allocated to maternity leave. Business is desperate for the notice period for mother's return to work to be extended and for the administration of mat