17 October 2019
The government announced its plans for future legislation with 26 Bills in the pipeline on topics including pensions, tips, Brexit, immigration and the environment. Given that a General Election seems likely, it is possible that some of the Bills will never become law, although today’s speech does set out the current government’s intentions. They have also announced that there will be a Budget on 6 November.
The government has brought forward a Bill to support pension savings, with a pensions dashboard to allow people to see information from all their pension schemes all in one place online. The Pensions Regulator will have more powers and increased penalties to deal with serious offences.
Ian Egerton, NHF/NBF president, commented, “Recent NHF research showed that many people have small amounts in different pensions from different jobs over their career, so a dashboard will make it easier for people to check how much money they have saved towards retirement.”
Brexit and immigration
There is a Bill to implement a Withdrawal Agreement if one is agreed and to ensure that the UK leaves with a deal on 31 October. Free movement will end but the Bill confirms the government’s commitment to the right to remain for resident EU citizens living in the UK. Post-Brexit the immigration system will align the treatment of EU citizens arriving after January 2021 with non-EU citizens. The immigration status of Irish citizens in the UK once free movement ends will be clarified. EU citizens and their family members will have the right to appeal against EU Settlement Scheme decisions. The deadline for applications is currently 31 December 2020.
"It’s good news that there will be a new right of appeal, but we are still encouraging salons to get any staff who are EU citizens to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme now"
Hilary Hall, NHF/NBF chief executive, commented, “It’s good news that there will be a new right of appeal, but we are still encouraging salons to get any staff who are EU citizens to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme now. We are working with other trade bodies about the proposed requirement for a minimum salary of £30,000 in the post-Brexit immigration system to make it easier for salons to recruit from the EU and elsewhere.”
A range of measures will be introduced, including increased local powers to tackle air pollution, minimise waste, increase recycling, manage water supplies and more effective action against littering. There will also be charges for single use plastic items, building on the success of the carrier bag charges and deposit return schemes will be introduced to reduce the number of plastic bottles entering the waste system.
Ian said, “We’re delighted that so many salon owners are already taking action to reduce plastic consumption, reduce waste and protect the environment. We welcome any additional measures which help them achieve those goals.”
A Bill was announced introducing a statutory Code of Practice on tipping to replace the current voluntary Code. It is intended to make sure that tips are distributed fairly and without deductions.
Hilary said, “We have responded to consultations about most of the Bills announced today, so we have been able to keep Members informed of likely developments. We asked Members how they handle tips so we could confidently represent them in talks with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. We have been invited to comment on the new Code as it’s drafted.”