Monday 19th February 2024

(3 months ago)

Ministerial Corrections
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Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill
The following are extracts from the Second Reading debate on the Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill on 26 January 2024.
Kevin Hollinrake Portrait Kevin Hollinrake
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Our 2019 manifesto pledged changes to enhance workers’ rights and support people to stay in work. The Government have delivered on those commitments by supporting a package of six private Members’ Bills helping new parents, unpaid carers and hospitality workers; giving all employees easier access to flexible working; and giving workers a right to request a more predictable working pattern. We have been pleased with the successful progress of that legislation through Parliament, where it has received cross-party support, resulting in six Acts successfully receiving Royal Assent. The Government have already made good progress on laying secondary legislation in due course to implement those new Acts.

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023, for example, will give all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service the right to request flexible working, empowering employees to ask for a working arrangement that suits them and their unique circumstances.

[Official Report, 26 January 2024, Vol. 744, c. 523.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Business and Trade, the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Kevin Hollinrake):

An error has been identified in my speech on Second Reading of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill.

The correct statement should have been:

Kevin Hollinrake Portrait Kevin Hollinrake
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Our 2019 manifesto pledged changes to enhance workers’ rights and support people to stay in work. The Government have delivered on those commitments by supporting a package of six private Members’ Bills helping new parents, unpaid carers and hospitality workers; giving all employees easier access to flexible working; and giving workers a right to request a more predictable working pattern. We have been pleased with the successful progress of that legislation through Parliament, where it has received cross-party support, resulting in six Acts successfully receiving Royal Assent. The Government have already made good progress on laying secondary legislation in due course to implement those new Acts.

The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023, for example, will result in all employees, including those without 26 weeks’ continuous service, having the right to request flexible working, empowering employees to ask for a working arrangement that suits them and their unique circumstances.

Kevin Hollinrake Portrait Kevin Hollinrake
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 will provide greater protection to women who are on maternity leave or an employee who is on adoption or shared parental leave in a redundancy situation.

[Official Report, 26 January 2024, Vol. 744, c. 523.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Business and Trade, the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Kevin Hollinrake):

An error has been identified in my speech on Second Reading of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill.

The correct statement should have been:

Kevin Hollinrake Portrait Kevin Hollinrake
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 will provide greater protection to women who have returned from maternity leave or an employee who has returned from adoption or shared parental leave in a redundancy situation.

Kevin Hollinrake Portrait Kevin Hollinrake
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Obviously, all legislation should include an impact assessment, including a financial impact assessment on business. The impact assessment result was de minimis—I think that is below £5 million, which is not a significant impact. We therefore do not think that the changes will create a significant burden on businesses. We have engaged with business representative organisations and payroll professionals throughout the policy development of these changes. They have responded positively and understand how the changes will increase flexibility for families. We are working with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to plan communications with businesses to ensure that they fully understand the new arrangements, and we will continue to engage with them while we finalise guidance to ensure the smooth introduction of these changes.

[Official Report, 26 January 2024, Vol. 744, c. 525.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Business and Trade, the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Kevin Hollinrake):

An error has been identified in my speech on Second Reading of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill.

The correct statement should have been:

Kevin Hollinrake Portrait Kevin Hollinrake
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Obviously, all legislation should include an impact assessment, including a financial impact assessment on business. The impact assessment result was de minimis—I think that is below £5 million, which is not a significant impact. We therefore do not think that the changes will create a significant burden on businesses. We have engaged with business representative organisations and payroll professionals throughout the policy development of these changes. They have responded positively and understand how the changes will increase flexibility for families. We will work with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to plan communications with businesses to ensure that they fully understand the new arrangements, and we will continue to engage with them while we finalise guidance to ensure the smooth introduction of these changes.