Oral Answers to Questions

Jonathan Gullis Excerpts
Monday 5th February 2024

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mel Stride Portrait Mel Stride
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The hon. Gentleman is entirely right. Small changes can often make a big difference, not just for autistic people but for the businesses they go on to serve and work in. He will have to be a little more patient about the Buckland review report coming out, but it will not be long. I also point him to the Access to Work and Disability Confident approaches, which both do exactly what he suggests.

Jonathan Gullis Portrait Jonathan Gullis (Stoke-on-Trent North) (Con)
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22. What recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of the number of people who are not eligible for statutory sick pay because they are paid less than the lower earnings limit on levels of inequality in Stoke-on-Trent North constituency.

Jo Churchill Portrait The Minister for Employment (Jo Churchill)
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The Department has not made a specific assessment for the Stoke-on-Trent North constituency, but I refer my hon. Friend to the evidence I presented to the Work and Pensions Committee last week. I look forward to meeting him this week to discuss this in more detail.

Jonathan Gullis Portrait Jonathan Gullis
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I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her answer. I am proud to have joined a campaign, together with my right hon. Friend the Member for Witham (Priti Patel) and the hon. Member for Glasgow East (David Linden), to reform statutory sick pay. That campaign, led by the Centre for Progressive Change, was referenced in today’s Times Health Commission report. Ahead of the spring Budget, will the Department join us in lobbying the Treasury to make these important changes, so that we have a healthier workforce that contributes more to our economy and, more importantly, so that we make sure that work pays fairly?

Jo Churchill Portrait Jo Churchill
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I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave to the Work and Pensions Committee. Statutory sick pay is considerably more complex than he makes out, but it is nice to see all this cross-party collaboration.

--- Later in debate ---
Paul Maynard Portrait Paul Maynard
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I can confirm to the hon. Gentleman that the Child Maintenance Service has a domestic abuse plan to ensure that parents are not placed in danger as a consequence of any suggestion of domestic violence; for example, it has a centralised sort code to limit the risk of parental involvement.

Jonathan Gullis Portrait Jonathan Gullis (Stoke-on-Trent North) (Con)
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I wish to place on record my thanks to the Secretary of State for helping to guide my private Member’s Bill through Parliament. It lowers the pension auto-enrolment age from 22 to 18, and abolishes the lower earnings threshold. Briefly, has the Secretary of State received reassurances from the Chancellor that the necessary forms will be implemented in the spring Budget?

Mel Stride Portrait Mel Stride
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I thank my hon. Friend for that question. Those matters are under active consideration.