Oral Answers to Questions

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh Excerpts
Thursday 21st April 2016

(5 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Leader of the House

The right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Tom Brake), representing the House of Commons Commission, was asked—

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh Portrait Ms Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (Ochil and South Perthshire) (SNP)
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2. What progress the Commission has made on making Parliament more family-friendly. (904588)

Gavin Newlands Portrait Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) (SNP)
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3. What progress the Commission has made on making Parliament more family-friendly. (904589)

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Tom Brake Portrait Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) (LD)
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The Commission is committed to making the House family-friendly to the extent to which that rests within its remit. It is for the House itself to decide on, for instance, sitting hours and the annual parliamentary calendar, which I understand the Procedure Committee is to address shortly. The Commission’s diversity and inclusion strategy builds on earlier initiatives such as the opening of the House of Commons nursery in 2010. The recently introduced formalisation of flexitime for staff offers one example of family-friendly policies in action.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh Portrait Ms Ahmed-Sheikh
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The staff of this place are often asked to work very long hours at extremely short notice; moreover, the Government have taken to, on occasion, releasing recess dates at extremely short notice. Has the Commission received any representations on how that might affect the family lives of the staff of the House?

Tom Brake Portrait Tom Brake
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Those are important matters that, as I have said, are for both the Commission and the House. The Leader of the House is present, and has heard what the hon. Lady has said about the short notice that is given of recess dates.