Lord Prentis of Leeds debates involving the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy during the 2019 Parliament

Employment Rights Legislation

Lord Prentis of Leeds Excerpts
Wednesday 1st February 2023

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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Parliament is not being refused the opportunity to discuss these things. We will no doubt have many days of debate on the retained EU law Bill. All the regulations that are updated or changed will come back to Parliament for approval, in precisely the same way as the EU regulations were introduced in the first place—in fact, they were subject to a lesser degree of scrutiny. I would have a little more support for the position of some noble Lords if they had objected to the way this legislation was introduced into UK law in the first place.

Lord Prentis of Leeds Portrait Lord Prentis of Leeds (Lab)
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My Lords, in the very short time I have had the honour of being part of this House, I have witnessed the concerns many noble Lords have about the increasing use of statutory instruments. I have seen the potential for the use of SIs in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill to reverse a half-century of progress on basic rights for women. I would like to—

None Portrait Noble Lords
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Lord Prentis of Leeds Portrait Lord Prentis of Leeds (Lab)
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I bring to your Lordships’ attention the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations, which were passed in 2000. These EU regulations enabled the trade unions to win a court case on behalf of more than 100,000 part-time teaching assistants and school meal staff, 95% of whom were women, who had been denied access to the local government pension scheme. Can the noble Lord confirm that His Majesty’s Government have no intention of letting these vital regulations end on 31 December 2023?

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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I am pleased that the noble Lord finally got round to a question. We are proud of our record on workers’ rights, particularly women’s rights. I quoted earlier the figures on the maternity leave provisions that are applicable in the UK as opposed to the EU; we want to see that happy state of affairs continue.