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Comments on the Queen’s speech

Richard Fox

Responding to the Queen’s Speech today…

Richard Fox, head of Employment Law at Kingsley Napley LLP, comments: “I welcome the fact that the Government has not wholly given up on its agenda for making the workplace a fairer place. It is unfortunately not clear if Mrs May’s previous enthusiasm for the work of her appointee Matthew Taylor on worker status is still somewhere near the top of her agenda. If it is, and the report is soon to be published as expected, questions remain about whether legislative time will be found to help its findings on their way. I hope so because this remains an important issue and I would suggest it is crucial to find time to deal with this.”

CIPR Comments on the new ‘Digital Charter’ The CIPR has urged the UK government to consult widely before proceeding with its proposed new Digital Charter, mentioned in the Queen’s Speech this morning. We need an inclusive discussion so the public understands what is at stake and contributes to the debate. Any measures the government takes must also command public support, we argue. We question how far the government’s ideas on limiting encryption are technically workable, and we believe that a focus on taking down seriously damaging material will likely be more effective than extending general surveillance. In its 2017 manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged to ‘establish a new framework that balances freedom with protection for users – that will make Britain the best place to start and run a digital business; and that we will make Britain the safest place in the world to be online.’ “Public relations depends on a free press and on the free exchange of views and opinions.

A society in which people feel they are being watched all the time, and have to guard their words, is not a society where strong and sustainable relationships can be built between people, or between organisations and their publics. Many people will support the government’s intention to try and tackle cyberbullying, incitement to terror and other undesirable activities online.  However there remain legitimate reservations about allowing a government to simply create a permanent state of emergency online by giving itself powers on the internet it does not exercise elsewhere.  We don’t have police informers in every pub, and we don’t expect the post office to open our letters.” Rob Brown FCIPR, CIPR Vice President, Managing Partner of Rule 5.

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